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Matt Damon in The Great Wall

'The Great Wall' Director Responds to Matt Damon Whitewash Controversy

HaydnSpurrell HaydnSpurrell The first trailer for The Great Wall has sparked controversy regarding Matt Damon's casting, leading to Chinese director Zhang Yimou to release a statement regarding the choice.

“Our film is not about the construction of the Great Wall,” Yimou told EW. “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.”

“I have not and will not cast a film in a way that was untrue to my artistic vision,” he wrote. His faith in his vision is certainly a joy to read. The film follows a group of warriors up against mythical creatures.

Yimou added that “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.”

The Great Wall opens Feb 17, 2017.

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