The Great Wall: Matt Damon knew the film was a disaster while filming it

Last Updated on August 10, 2021

Matt Damon, The Great Wall, disaster

Matt Damon has been in his share of hits and critically lauded efforts but even he can admit when something misses the mark. In this case, Damon is looking back at the 2016 medieval epic, The Great Wall. Five years after the film's release, the actor is admitting that he knew the film was a disaster even while he was filming it.

During his recent appearance on Marc Maron's WTF podcast to promote his new film Stillwater, Damon got pretty candid with his thoughts on the film. The actor called the film a "disaster" and he says he knew the film would be a failure during production. Damon said, "I was like, this is exactly how disasters happen. It doesn't cohere. It doesn't work as a movie." 

Damon said he really knew things were going downhill when director Zhang Yimou started to make changes to please the Hollywood producers. When he started making these changes, Damon says Zhang sacrificed his initial vision for the film and the movie fell victim to the ever so pesky studio interference. Despite knowing that film wouldn't be what he signed up for, Damon still attacked the project as a true professional:

"I came to consider that the definition of a professional actor; knowing you're in a turkey and going, 'Ok, I've got four more months. It's the up at dawn siege on Hamburger Hill. I am definitely going to die here, but I'm doing it.' That's as shitty as you can feel creatively, I think. I hope to never have that feeling again."

The Great Wall centers around a European mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) who is imprisoned by imperial Chinese forces within the Great Wall of China after arriving in search of gunpowder. He eventually joins forces with the Chinese to help combat an alien threat. The Great Wall cost a staggering $150 million to make and the film only pulled in $45.5 million domestically. Despite rebounding globally with a gross of $335 million worldwide, the film was still considered a bomb with losses reportedly as high as $75 million when its marketing costs were factored into the production budget. Reviews also weren't very kind with the film pulling in a 35% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, and Andy Lau.

What are YOUR thoughts on The Great Wall?

Source: Marc Maron's WTF podcast

About the Author

3191 Articles Published