TITLE: The Great Wall

DESCRIPTION: 2016 fantasy set in 11th-century China about a European mercenary helping defend the Great Wall from an army of dragon-like monsters.

DIRECTED BY: Chinese director Zhang Yimou. He's directed a bunch of movies, including the first Chinese movie to be nominated for an Oscar as well as the Olympic ceremonies in Beijing. This was his first English-language movie.

WRITTEN BY: Max Brooks (World War Z) came up with the original idea. Edward Zick and Marshall Herkovitz (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back) were going to write and direct it but it didn't work out so Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro (the writing team behind Prince of Persia and the tv series Narcos) took over. Frequent Matt Damon collaborator Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity) joined in when Damon was cast.


STUDIO: Universal Pictures. Legendary and a number of other Chinese studios helped produce it.

MY TAKE: Really dumb. I don't know how anybody was able to keep a straight face. 

  • Filmed in China. It's the most expensive movie ever made in China.
  • Premiered in Beijing.
  • Made $350 million at the box office. It only made $45 million in North America but made $170.9 million in China. After marketing and its $135 million production budget were factored in, it ended up losing $75 million.
  • Critics have accused it of whitewashing but the Chinese take umbrage to that. From their perspective, they made a big-budget movie with Hollywood stars.
  • Cute Guy Alert

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