This past summer, the trailer for The Great Wall was released, and almost instantly, it was met with backlash in the U.S. as another example of whitewashing.
Despite the stateside controversy, many people in China are looking forward to the film’s release.
On Saturday, during a press conference at New York Comic-Con, Damon said the initial reaction to the film "was a fucking bummer."
Damon said that his co-star Pedro Pascal, who was also at the press conference, called him amid the backlash and jokingly said, "Yeah, we are guilty of whitewashing — we all know that only the Chinese defended The Wall against the monster when they attacked."
Pascal said, "We don’t want people to be kept from work that they wouldn’t have the opportunity otherwise to see that is very, very specifically Chinese."
Damon also said he was "surprised" by the response "because it was based on a teaser."
"I watched that teaser a number of times to try to understand the criticism, but ultimately where I came down [is] if people see this movie and feel like there's somehow whitewashing involved in a creature feature that we made up, I will listen to that with my whole heart and I will think about that and try to learn from that," Damon said.
"I will be surprised if you can see this movie and have that reaction. I will be genuinely shocked."
A new trailer for The Great Wall debuted earlier today at NYCC, which you can view below. The film opens everywhere on Feb. 17, 2017.
Michael Blackmon is an entertainment writer with BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Michael Blackmon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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