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June 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Award-winning Chinese director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Red Sorghum) has confirmed that he has agreed to direct the English-language blockbuster film The Great Wall. Legendary East, the Chinese affiliate of the Hollywood studio, had originally tapped Edward Zwick to direct the film about China’s most famous landmark, but Zwick dropped out for undisclosed reasons two years ago following reports that the studio was having difficulty raising money to make the movie. On Wednesday, China Daily quoted Zhang as saying at a press conference at the Beijing Film Academy, “Legendary East is brave in letting a Chinese director who doesn’t speak English shoot an English-dialogue film. This kind of attempt is historically significant for Chinese films, its market and its future. It’s taking Chinese films abroad, and I hope these kinds of projects will continue to guide Chinese filmmakers out of China.” The studio plans to release the film internationally in 2016, and Zhang said he hopes it will describe Chinese culture in terms that younger audiences can grasp. China Daily remarked, “Zhang has been known for making dramas that describe the sensitive and delicate side of human nature. The Great Wall, on the contrary, is a fantasy epic and it will be the first time Zhang tackles this type of film in his 30-year filmmaking career.”