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Edward Zwick to direct new Hollywood-China film

Producer and Director Edward Zwick. - AP File Photo

BEIJING: Edward Zwick, producer of “The Last Samurai”, will direct the first movie to be made by the new Hollywood-China film production partnership Legendary East, the company said Wednesday.

Zwick has agreed to direct “The Great Wall” -- a movie inspired by the creation of China's best-known landmark and the first of two planned English-language titles set to come out of the partnership.

Legendary East was formed in June by Los Angeles-based Production Company Legendary Entertainment and Huayi Brothers, China's largest independent film studio.

Huayi is one of a number of Chinese companies teaming up with Hollywood to make films about Chinese subjects with worldwide appeal.

“'The Great Wall' exemplifies the type of globally-appealing, commercial movie we intend to have Legendary East become known for,” said Jon Jashni, the company's chief creative officer.

The film will bring longtime partners Zwick and screenwriter Marshall Herskovitz back to an Asian subject for the first time since “The Last Samurai”, which won four Oscar nominations and grossed dollar 435 million globally.

The Great Wall, a series of stone and earthen fortifications originally built in the fifth century BC to protect China's northern borders from invasion, is among the country's most enduring symbols.

Once complete, Huayi plans to distribute the film in China. Legendary East said it expected longtime legendary partner Warner Bros. Pictures to distribute it to other countries around the world.

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