Matt Damon Must Defend ‘The Great Wall’ in the First Theatrical Trailer
If the first teaser for The Great Wall piqued your interest, you’re in luck: Universal Pictures just released the first full-length theatrical trailer for The Great Wall as part of their New York Comic-Con panel on the film. Unlike in the first trailer, here we actually get a good look at the monsters and an explanation for why Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal are fighting in China in the first place.
While the rhythm to this new trailer is a little wonky — it’s caught a bit between telling the story from Matt Damon’s perspective and making the Chinese actors seem like secondary characters in their own movie — there is still a lot of big-budget spectacle on display. Director Zhang Yimou has proven in movies like House of Flying Daggers that he knows how to make an incredible wuxia film; while most of these movies don’t traditionally have their heroes fighting monsters, it’s important to note that “monsters” are not a demographic that Hollywood is particularly worried about losing. They’re the perfect villain for explosions, martial arts, and budding cultural friendships.
That being said, The Great Wall still has a little bit of an uphill battle facing it in the months to come. While co-productions are becoming increasingly common between countries like the United States and China, the fact that the producers behind The Great Wall cast a Caucasian actor like Matt Damon to tell a Chinese story in a Chinese genre of film felt like a slap in the face to many audience members. If the studio can build up a little goodwill prior to the film’s release — prove that they’re telling the right story with the right cast — then The Great Wall might stand out as the next big event film to be shared between the two countries.
The Great Wall stars Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Jing Tian, Willem Dafoe, and Andy Lau and will hit theaters on February 17, 2017.