Last week, The Great Wall starring Matt Damon dropped its first trailer.
In no time at all, the Chinese-American coproduction was awash with controversy — because some people were claiming it as an example of more Hollywood whitewashing!
Now director Zhang Yimou is coming to the film’s defense and explaining the reasoning behind his film’s casting!
The famed director of Hero and House of Flying Daggers gave a statement to Entertainment Weekly saying the film is anything but part of a “white savior” problem:
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.
Zhang went on to explain how Damon’s character is just one of several heroes:
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 ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ 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.
So is it not the film that glorifies Damon but the U.S. marketing? Hmm…
What do YOU think about this controversy?!
[Image via Universal Pictures.]