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Here’s Why Matt Damon is in “The Great Wall”

By Maria-Karmina

The Great Wall has received a lot of backlash when its trailer was originally released back in July of 2016. For most, seeing Hollywood’s beloved, Matt Damon as the heroic face protecting the Great Wall of China and seemingly leading a Chinese army, led to accusations of Hollywood whitewashing.

The problem was, these critics didn't know anything about the film or its plot. But as we delved into the issue, we too, wanted to find light in this heavy issue and protect those of the Asian-American community. So we sought to end this confusion.

We had a chance to sit-down with Director, Zhang Yimou (and translator: Frank Lin) to reveal exactly what The Great Wall will consists of and, at the same time, we hope to help put an end to accusations that Matt Damon is playing a role that was originally meant for a Chinese actor.

Those of you that are still wondering how the first trailer for The Great Wall was interpreted as white-washing by some can watch the teaser in this link

You can see where these critics are coming from, but, considering the fact that it doesn’t give away the plot or its characters, it was still rather silly of them to instantly throw out accusations.

Once the accusations came to surface, Director, Zhang Yimou addressed the controversy in a full statement saying:

“In many ways The Great Wall is the opposite of what is being suggested. For the first time, a film deeply rooted in Chinese culture, with one of the largest Chinese casts ever assembled, is being made at tent pole scale for a world audience. I believe that is a trend that should be embraced by our industry. Our film is not about the construction of the Great Wall. Matt Damon is not playing a role that was originally conceived for a Chinese actor. The arrival of his character in our story is an important plot point. There are five major heroes in our story and he is one of them — the other four are all Chinese. The collective struggle and sacrifice of these heroes are the emotional heart of our film. As the director of over 20 Chinese language films and the Beijing Olympics, I have not and will not cast a film in a way that was untrue to my artistic vision. I hope when everyone sees the film and is armed with the facts they will agree.”

Respecting the vision of somebody else’s art, is always the most difficult for people to see; and that may just be the exact reason the accusations of “Hollywood White Washing” came tumbling down. But this historical fantasy movie was indeed, a tumble of intricately, visually breathtaking film that one can enjoy. Luckily for you, the adventure doesn’t end there, as you can experience The Great Wall yourself! Click here for more details