For the last few years, The Great Wall has been a movie that seemed far too bizarre to ever actually make it to theaters, but now the first trailer for the most expensive Chinese movie ever made — which also happens to star Matt Damon — has actually been released.
An epic, historical fantasy film set during the construction of the Great Wall of China, The Great Wall is based on the premise that the massive, 13,171-mile structure was built not to keep invading Eurasian raiders out of China, but to defend against monstrous, mythical creatures. And from what the trailer seems to suggest, Matt Damon’s bow-wielding character was apparently there to help protect everyone, too.
Directed by Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers), who also directed the acclaimed opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, The Great Wall, with a budget of approximately $135 million, is the most expensive movie ever made entirely in China.
As if the presence of Damon in the film wasn’t intriguing enough, the English-language film’s cast also includes Willem Dafoe (The Boondock Saints, Platoon) in an unidentified role. Damon and Dafoe are reportedly part of an ensemble cast that also includes Hong Kong box-office star Andy Lau, as well as Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal, Jing Tian, Luhan, and Zhang Hanyu.
The film is the first English-language project for Yimou, one of China’s most acclaimed filmmakers, and is based on a story conceived by World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War author Max Brooks and Legendary Pictures chairman Thomas Tull. The script for the film was penned by Oscar-nominated Michael Clayton writer and director Tony Gilroy (who also wrote the first four installments of Damon’s Jason Bourne franchise) and Narcos co-creators Chris Brancato and Doug Miro.
Scheduled to hit theaters in China in December, The Great Wall will have its U.S. premiere on February 17.