With all of the hype and nonstop marketing and press for Jason Bourne, the trailer for The Great Wall seemed like it came out of left field. After all, we’ve been slammed with images and clips of Matt Damon back in action as the amnesiac spy ahead of this week’s Bourne release, so to see him suddenly transform into an archer defending the Great Wall of China from mysterious monsters was a little unusual. But then, when a movie costs at least $135 million to make and is reportedly the most expensive film ever made in China, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that producers want to piggyback on all that Bourne attention.
What has surprised people is that Damon is the non-Chinese star of a Chinese-made movie, and with that revelation now comes controversy. Actress Constance Wu, star of the hit ABC series Fresh of the Boat, expressed her outrage at the film’s “perpetuation of the racist myth that only a white man can save the world” in a stern tweet on Friday.
Wu makes a very good point about studios having the balls to take chances, but she’s going to have a hard time convincing anyone that being known as “The Biggest Set of Balls in Hollywood and China” is worth more than $135 million. And that’s still the low estimate of how much The Great Wall costs.
Maybe that’s the real point of contention here, though, that studios and producers need to take a step back and really ask themselves if it’s worth it to spend nine figures on Matt Damon protecting the Great Wall. After all, the guy has already cost the world enough money.