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‘Great Wall’ Director Zhang Yimou Starts ‘Shadow’

Zhang Yimou, the Chinese director whose recent “The Great Wall” has grossed $328 million worldwide, has begun production of his next movie, “Shadow.”

The film is a co-venture between Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and Le Vision Pictures, for which Zhang is retained as an artistic consultant.

The producers have revealed little about the project, though Chinese media report it as a historical picture set in the Three Kingdoms era.

The cast confirmed to date for “Shadow” includes Deng Chao, Zheng Kai, Wang Qianyuan, Hu Jun, Guan Xiaotong, Wu Lei and Wang Jingchun. Others are expected to join the picture.

Zhang is one of China’s foremost directors of drama, pithy comedy and large-scale historical action. Many of his films have played at major festivals and been China’s foreign-language Oscar contender. His venture into the mainstream with “The Great Wall,” a VFX-heavy historical fantasy actioner shot largely in English and starring Matt Damon, enraged some of his most loyal fans in China for being popcorn entertainment.

Despite the lack of critical acclaim “The Great Wall” went on to score $171 million in China, making it one of the biggest films of 2016. A February release in North America, where it is handled by Universal Pictures, the film has so far grossed $44.5 million.

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