• Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'The Great Wall' - Arrivals

Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'The Great Wall' - Arrivals (Photo : Getty Images/Frazer Harrison)

On a hindsight, “The Great Wall” director Zhang Yimou now considers the flop movie’s story being too weak to attract American moviegoers. But despite the $75-million loss that Universal Pictures, Legendary Entertainment, China Film Group and Le Vision Pictures took, he hopes it would not dissuade other movie makers from pursuing another Chinese-Hollywood collaboration.

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Zhang Yimou pointed out that the actors were all very good and Matt Damon, the star of the movie, was splendid. Besides the weak story, the Chinese director concedes the timing may have been wrong and the production did not do an excellent job in crafting the period-fantasy film, Associated Press reported.

Movie Reviews Agree with Zhang

 Film critics agree with Zhang’s assessment of “The Great Wall’s” weaknesses. The Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin describes the Matt Damon-starrer as being a “wally” film “because watching it feels like repeatedly banging your head against one.”

Collin wrote that the movie’s screenplay was “more hole than plot” and appeared like a 1980s action-figure cartoon. Variety noted that the idea of the real Great Wall of China was built to keep out monsters is not an original one since a 2009 Japanese manga “Attack on Titan” had used the idea already.

New Stage Play

Zhang is now preparing for the stage play “2047 Apologue” which would have a Beijing debut. The play would link Chinese traditional culture with a future of how people would interact with technology. The play is not a show or a story, the director said.

For “2047 Apologue,” he hired Chinese folk art performers and American and European companies to provide drones and robotic arms for the 60-minute play which would run for three days on June 16-18. The venue is at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Zhang would then stage the play at other Chinese cities.

While he is in favor of more Hollywood-Chinese collaboration despite the box-office debacle suffered by “The Great Wall,” Zhang said it does not necessarily have to be him again.