Proving that New York Comic-Con is growing in size and stature, Matt Damon stop by at NYCC 2016 promote his upcoming movie The Great Wall. He even did it on his birthday. Cue the singing and yes there was singing. As the Comic-Con faithful wish him a very happy birthday, Damon return the favor by bringing the cast and legendary director, Zhang Yimou, with him to share a special treat for the audience.
Damon gushed about is desire to work on a film like this with legendary director, Zhang Yimou:
It’s kind of why I wanted to do it. It’s unlike anything I have ever been able to do before. And I’ve been following Zhang Yimou for years, since Raise The Red Lantern. I saw that when I was in college…there are so many movies that he’s made that blew me away, just visually…he’s able to do– there aren’t there’s like a handful of people, who can even work on that scale and nobody who works like him. So when he offered me the job it was like, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.
As for what the audience should expect from this film, Damon admits it’s a monster movie on a grand scale:
Ultimately, it’s a monster movie. It’s monsters attacking the Great Wall and we all defend it. So it is historical fantasy and I’ve never really done that before, but if I was ever going to do something like that on that scale it would have to be with somebody like Zhang Yimou. Yeah, I remember the very first meeting, I had with him. He kind of unveiled what they were going to look like. It just felt very exciting to incorporate Chinese mythology into a big kind of Hollywood Sword and Samurai epic, but it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
It was rumored that Damon, who has won an Oscar for screenwriting, helped pen some of the film’s dialogue. He joked, “Maybe if you see the movie and if you guys like it then then I wrote a lot of it.” He added, ” If not, not so much.”
The Great Wall marks director Zhang Yimou’s first English-language film. Yimou, who is generally considered to be one of China’s greatest living directors, has made such foreign-language films as the critically-acclaimed martial arts epics Hero and House of Flying Daggers in years past. Nevertheless, he did admit that this film, The Great Wall, with its multinational cast and crew, was particularly challenging:
[We] have over a hundred translators on the film… From when I first started to now it’s about three years. It took three years. It’s a very long time even though we had good translators….[but] this movie is made for the world audience. We had people working from all over the world, from the United States and from China.
As for the monsters in the film Yimou promises they are going to be “spectacular” and “you never seen [anything like] that before.” Yimou went on to joke that “I regret that I didn’t speak English. I can’t say happy birthday to Matt.” So, in honor of Damon’s birthday, they rolled out the latest trailer for The Great Wall, instead.
The Great Wall opens in U.S. theaters on February 17th, 2017.