EW has just released 5 stunning images from director Zhang Yimou’s upcoming epic The Great Wall, which stars Matt Damon, Willem Defoe, and Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal. The film is entirely shot in China with a hefty budget of $135 million, making it the most expensive Chinese movie of all time.
The idea of this movie came from Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull and World War Z author Max Brooks where they tell the story behind the purpose of the construction of the Great Wall: to keep the monsters out.
The Last Samurai director Edward Zwick was initially attached to helm the project, who then cast Henry Cavill and Benjamin Walker for the lead roles. But due to some financing and weather issues, Zwick dropped out of the project. And that’s where Yimou came in.
Speaking to EW, Yimou gave a hint as to what the audiences can expect from the movie:
The film takes place about 1,000 years ago. At its core, it is a period piece and an action film. The fantasy element does play a major role because of the monsters. But, what makes our film unique is that these are ancient Chinese monsters. Even though it’s a fantasy movie, we filmed it in a very realistic way. We want it to feel like the events actually happened. Other than the monster, all aspects of this film are backed by either scientific or historical research.
The Great Wall is expected to hit theaters on February 17, 2017.