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*Matt Damon has played the fearless Jason Bourne and taken out many human monsters, but never has he come face to face with a mythical monster on such a massive scale as he does in “The Great Wall,” opening today, February 17.

During New York Comic Con last year inside Madison Square Garden, I asked Matt what challenges did he face and what was it like taking on such an epic project? Laughing, he said:

“The biggest challenge was working with Pedro [Pascal is Damon’s co-star], definitely.”

On a more serious note, he went on to tell me what it was like to finally work with the Chinese director compared to Steven Spielberg. “The offer came to me out of the blue,” he explained.

“I’ve been chasing Zhang Yimou (“House of Flying Dagger,” “Hero”) for 20 years and suddenly got this. I went in to meet with him and we were in an office about this size, and it was surrounded with storyboards.

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“First of all, I knew it was like nothing I’d ever seen, like nothing I’d ever done, and it was bigger than anything I could imagine. It was the Great Wall, as if designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, and the Wall came alive. I just looked at it and it just blew me away. The final thing he showed me was what the monsters would look like, and I said yes.”

“The Great Wall” is a great, fun ride that immerses audiences into the fantasy world of warriors confronting an unimaginable and seemingly unstoppable force. The film also stars Jing Tian, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau, and Junkai Wang.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]

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