EXCLUSIVE: While all the buzz this week about Matt Damon focused on Deadline’s reveal that he’ll reteam with Paul Greengrass in their third Bourne Identity film, there’s another very exotic international film that Damon is also flirting with. That is the lead role in The Great Wall, the Legendary Pictures film the great Chinese helmer Zhang Yimou signed on to direct. Legendary Pictures principal Thomas Tull has been trying to mount the China-set epic for several years now. Script is by Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro, but the most recent draft is by Tony Gilroy, who is familiar to Damon in that he scripted those terrific Bourne Identity films. The Great Wall was going to shoot last year and give Legendary a foothold into the China market, with Ed Zwick helming. While Zwick went as far as casting Henry Cavill and Benjamin Walker, it just didn’t get over the wall that time.
Damon, who next stars for Ridley Scott in The Martian, has scheduling complications that make this whole thing daunting. He is a big fan of the director though, and nearly worked with him on the film Flowers Of War, the picture that Christian Bale starred in. So everybody is trying.
The Great Wall reveals the mystery behind why the Great Wall was built, and the secrets hidden beneath its stones. The film will be produced by Thomas Tull, Chuck Roven, Jon Jashni, Richard Suckle and Peter Loehr. Jillian Share, Bennett and Alex Gartner will executive produce. Damon is repped by WME. Yimou by CAA.