Notable Chinese actors Andy Lau, Jing Tian, Zhang Hanyu, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Lin Gengxin, Zheng Kai, Chen Xuedong, Huang Xuan and Wang Junkai will make up the rest of the cast for the production, which is being positioned as the largest film ever to shoot entirely in China for global distribution.
Newcomers Yu Xintian and Liu Qiong will play supporting roles in the film that’s set in 15th century China and revolves around an elite force of soldiers making a last stand for humanity against mythical creatures on the world’s most iconic structure.
Zhang Yimou (“Hero,” “House of Flying Daggers”) will direct from an idea by Legendary chief Thomas Tull and screenwriter Max Brooks (“World War Z”).
The final script was written by Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard, Ed Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz, and Tony Gilroy.
Production is set to begin in China at the end of March 2015.
The film is being produced by Tull, Jon Jashni, and Legendary East’s Peter Loehr, as well as Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven. Jillian Share, Alex Gartner, Bennett Walsh, La Peikang and Zhang Zhao will executive produce with Er Yong, Alex Hedlund and Eric Hedayat co-producing.
Damon, Pascal and Dafoe had previously been in talks to join the project.
Pascal (“Game of Thrones”) will next be seen in Netflix’s original series “Narcos,” about Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Legendary East, the Chinese offshoot of Thomas Tull’s Legendary Entertainment, was set up more than two years ago with ambitions of producing big-budget tentpole movies in the world’s second-largest market for global consumption.
“The Great Wall” was always expected to be one of the first to be made, but faced several delays.
At one point, Henry Cavill was attached to star, with Ed Zwick (“The Last Samurai”) directing.