We've suspected that Ed Zwick's THE GREAT WALL would involve some supernatural and, hopefully, horror elements. Now, if the latest rumors are to be believed, it turns out we were right on the money. The peeps over at Bloody Disgusting seem to have learned that the movie "will follow two former English Crusaders who will help the Chinese defend the Wall and their land against the invading Genghis Kahn and the even more dangerous T’ao T’ieh monsters!"
That would actually fit pretty well into the previously unveiled synopsis:
An adventure film about British warriors traveling through 15th Century China who happen upon the hurried construction of the massive wall. As night falls, the warriors realize that the haste in building the wall isn’t just to keep out the Mongols. There is something inhuman and more dangerous.
According to Wikipedia, the T'ao T'ieh, or simply Taotie, sometimes translated as a gluttonous ogre mask, is a motif commonly found on ritual bronze vessels from the Shang and Zhou Dynasty. The design typically consists of a zoomorphic mask, described as being frontal, bilaterally symmetrical, with a pair of raised eyes and typically no lower jaw area. You can check out a visual interpretation of the creature below.
Set for a 2013 release, THE GREAT WALL will star Benjamin Walker, Henry Cavill and Ziyi Zhang (below).