When Thomas Tull's Legendary Entertainment (The Dark Knight, 300, etc.) formed Legendary East as a standalone entertainment company based out of Hong Kong, it was obvious that the new company would be looking to appeal to the massive Eastern population of movie watchers with the announcement of The Great Wall as their first project. But it looks like that project has hit a tiny snag.
Deadline reports that director Ed Zwick (The Last Samuari, Glory) has stepped down from the director's chair. They don't cite a reason why, but we're guessing it has to do with the delayed production schedule, which had been pushed back due to weather in China and because the project didn't have 100% funding yet. This is supposedly just a minor setback though, as the production is apparently ready to move on from Zwick's vision and find someone else in time for a spring start.
The movie stars Man of Steel actor Henry Cavill, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter's Benjamin Walker, Rush Hour 2 star Zhang Ziyi, and more. The plot is as follows: "Set in 15th century China, Great Wall is about British warriors 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."
The story sounds interesting for sure, but I have my reservations about it; will the desire to placate the massive Chinese audience (which is something that's been happening with most big blockbusters lately, Iron Man 3 included) result in a good business move, or an actual good movie? There's the chance it could be both, and Legendary generally has made good choices so far, but they are a company after all, and in an industry in which the art of film is constantly being pushed to the side in favor of making money with huge opening weekends, we'll see how Legendary East plays their cards with this one.