ByRedmond Bacon, writer at
Have realised my dream of finally living in Berlin. I like movies, techno, and talking too much in bars.

With so much going on at the New York Comic Con, it's hard to keep track of every new trailer and previously unreleased footage that drops. Between sneak previews of The Walking Dead, the new Power Rangers trailer and our first look at John Wick 2, it's safe to say that the festival really knows how to deliver. As well as those gems there was also the epic new trailer for The Great Wall, which you can watch below:

Somewhat based on the 'true story' regarding how The Great Wall of China was built, it sees the world's then largest empire facing off against the invading Mongolians (and their giant monsters?!) in what seems to be the biggest fantasy spectacle since The Lord Of The Rings: The Return of The King.

In anticipation for this epic event we here at Movie Pilot have compiled a list of everything you need to know regarding The Great Wall.

Director Zhang Yimou Is The Chinese 'Steven Spielberg'

From Raise The Red Lantern. ERA International.
From Raise The Red Lantern. ERA International.

Helming some of the biggest hits in his home country, Zhang Yimou has been described by Matt Damon as "the Steven Spielberg of China". His previous films include critical and commercial successes Raise The Red Lantern, Hero and House Of The Flying Daggers.

His films have been the recipients of three Best Foreign Film nominations at the Oscars, a Silver and Golden Lion at the Venice film festival, the Golden Bear at the Berlinale and the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. On top of that, he also had the honour of directing the dazzling opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. If The Great Wall has the same level of spectacle, we should be in for a treat. Signs are looking good as:

It's The Largest Chinese Production Ever

It didn't all go on Damon's haircut. Legendary Pictures.
It didn't all go on Damon's haircut. Legendary Pictures.

With a budget between $135-160 million, The Great Wall knocks Yimou's previous record of $90 million for Flowers Of War right out of the park. It has taken quite a while to get off the ground, with Yimou stating:

"The reason I took the Great Wall project is that there have been requests in the last 10 or 20 years. Now the production is big enough and really appealing. And, very importantly, it has Chinese elements in it"

With this astronomical budget, it is going to have to do well internationally in order to make a profit, thus the marketing in countries such as the USA. This has not been without its criticisms:

It's Mired In 'Whitewashing' Controversy

Legendary Pictures.
Legendary Pictures.

The casting of Matt Damon, a white guy, in the supposed lead role of a Chinese film, has proved a hot topic of debate, especially considering the countless other examples of white people playing Chinese roles. Nevertheless, whilst controversial, it isn't technically whitewashing if the director intends his character to be a white person and then casts a white person in that role. Nevertheless it can be seen as indicative of the way that Chinese producers felt it necessary to cast a white lead in order to increase its international appeal. It doesn't really help when Matt Damon comments upon the controversy by calling it a "fucking bummer" — calling on audiences to wait and see the final product.

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Hopefully for him, the new trailer helps to contextualise his role in the film. Along with co-star Pedro Pascal (who is Hispanic), their characters are described as travellers who decide after much consideration to join in to help the Chinese against the Mongolians. Billed as just one of five legendary fighters, what we might be seeing is excessive coverage of Damon to appeal to the Western market. Nevertheless, he does look a lot like just another white saviour, an incredibly overused and tired trope by now.

It Arrives Sooner Than You Think

Legendary Pictures.
Legendary Pictures.

With a release date of February 17, 2017, its only four or so months away before we see The Great Wall hit our theatres. Coming just nine days before the 2017 Oscars, it will serve as a welcome piece of escapist entertainment in the midst of such serious fare, and who knows — maybe it will kickstart the next Oscar race all over again.

The Great Wall Of China Would Cost $360 Billion Dollars To Build

ERA International
ERA International

The Great Wall of China is the biggest wall ever built. From end to end, it is 4,160 miles long. It is so large in fact that some contest that you can even see it from space. The cost of such a construction, which in the process of being built caused over a million lives to be lost, would amount today to around $360 billion! In comparison the Berlin Wall cost a paltry $25 million, and Trump's proposed wall between the USA and Mexico would cost "only" $25 billion to construct. How do you like them apples?


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