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Matt Damon Eyes Lead Role in Zhang Yimou & Legendary's 'Great Wall'

by
September 22, 2014
Source: Deadline

The Great Wall

There's been a lot of buzz surrounding actor Matt Damon lately, from the talk of reteaming with Paul Greengrass for another outing with Jason Bourne, to a reunion with director Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester-by-the-Sea. Now there's another project on the horizon that the actor is circling and that's The Great Wall, a film that has been developing at Legendary Pictures since 2011 and once had Ed Zwick slated to be at the helm with Henry Cavil and Benjamin Walker starring. But now Deadline reports Hero director Zhang Yimou will direct the film, and Damon is interested in a role if it jives with his schedule.

Damon also had the lead role that eventually went to Christian Bale in Flowers of War, but it didn't work out. Plot details still aren't available, but the film is said to focus on the mystery behind why the Great Wall of China was built, and the key to that secret being hidden beneath the stones of the wall itself. Funnily enough, the latest draft of the script comes from Tony Gilroy, who wrote the films in the Jason Bourne franchise. In another interesting connection, Yimou was recently said to be circling an adaptation of The Parsifal Mosaic, a book from Robert Ludlum, author of the books that inspired the Bourne films. As of now Damon is slated to lead The Martian next, but we'll see if he can scale The Great Wall.

UPDATE: Deadline has also learned that Bryan Cranston might reunite with Legendary Pictures, after being one of the best parts of their Godzilla remake, with a co-starring role in The Great Wall. He's also in early talks like Matt Damon though, so there's no guarantees.

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  • jay
    Awesome, another film focusing on a specific piece of eastern culture led by a white actor with no affiliation to said culture whatsoever. Im not someone who really cares for political correctness that much, but this kind of thing always annoys me (Im looking at you last samurai, flowers of war, even the more cartoony 47 ronin or afro-centric (or rather decaprio-centric) blood diamond.)
    • OfficialJab
      Certain movies bother me, or don't bother me, to certain extents with this issue. This one seems like it will be very contrived.
      • jay
        I agree. Blood diamond annoyed me less, because at least leo was supposed to be a south african white guy, and he wasnt presented as the savior of a non white culture like TC in the last samurai.
    • Brian Sleider
      Came here to make this gripe, thanks for saving me time.
  • DAVIDPD
    Cranston & Damon???! The mind boggles at such talent. I will probably see this regardless of the material.

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