Why was The Great Wall of China, considered a modern Wonder of the World, built in around 206 BC? If your answer is to help Matt Damon fight off dragons from the Eurasian Steppe, you are probably a Hollywood revisionist. This is the main, ridiculous plot point we’ve come to understand by the upcoming Trans-Pacific action-fantasy film, The Great Wall, coming in 2017 from Legendary Pictures.
From the press release: “Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary’s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau.
Not much can be told from the trailer and press release. What we do know is:
Matt Damon is one of three white guys in ancient China.
Matt Damon has been a secret agent and in space… twice. All he has left is to play Jesus, act in a horror movie, and fight in a film that features medieval armor. One down, two to go.
The other two white guys are Pedro Pascal, who played Oberyn Martell in the HBO series Game of Thrones, and an unseen Willem Dafoe, who has acted in pretty much everything except a medieval-type movie.
Thar be dragons… or something.
Most historians believe that The Great Wall of China was built by an orange-face feudal salesman to keep out drugs, crime, and rapists in the form of Mongolians. Max Brooks is not known for being a historian. He’s known for writing books about the zombie apocalypse like The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z (which was made into a movie with Brad Pitt.)
Instead, The Great Wall of China seems to be keeping out dragon-like monsters and reptilian Orc-creatures.
The Great Wall is not another Dragon Blade
Some of you may remember the last time a bunch of white people took over Chinese history. It only happened last year when Adrien Brody and John Cusack joined up with Jackie Chan in Dragon Blade. While Dragon Blade seemed more campy (because, you know, Jackie Chan), The Great Wall seems like it is trying to be taken seriously, even if the general story seems anything but.