The Great Wall of China has long been the object of many a man’s admiration. However, if you think you know the reason behind this ancient wonder’s creation, then you ought to prepare for your mind to be blown.

Behind “The Great Wall”

This year, a movie of epic proportions has started production, and it boasts not only of an ambitious concept but also a star-studded cast comprising of some of the most prominent figures from both Hollywood and the Chinese cinema.

Revolving around the majestic Great Wall, the film mashes elements from science fiction and history as it sets up its characters in 15th century China. Where’s the sci-fi in that, you ask? Well, apparently, the “real” reason the Wall was erected is a large-scale, unrecorded invasion of giant mythical creatures—aliens, perhaps? In this grievous battle against the supernatural, humankind opted to fortify its defenses with a massive wall that will keep their enemies at bay as the most elite forces create a strategy that will help them tip the odds to their favor.

Looking at the plot closely, you would most probably have visions of Pacific Rim or Godzilla, with the enormous robots and supersonic jets replaced with seemingly harmless (to the monsters, that is) swords and cannonballs. While it might appear totally cheesy in our heads, if handled well, it can be the next undisputable box office hit and the start of the Chinese cinema’s successful worldwide distribution and fame.

The Stars in Front and Behind the Cameras

As earlier mentioned, “The Great Wall” features top-notch actors and crew. Leading the actors’ side are Matt Damon and Andy Lau, both of whom are highly respected and celebrated artists in their respective countries. Damon is currently in talks for another Bourne movie and is the lead of another sci-film, “The Martian,” to be released this year. On the other hand, Lau has his hands full with two movies for 2015—“The Bodyguard” wherein he cameos and serves as a producer and “Saving Mr. Wu,” in which he stars.

Representing Hollywood (L-R): Willem Dafoe, Pedro Pascal, and Mackenzie Foy

Joining Damon and Lau are Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Jing Tian, Zhang Hanyu, Eddie Peng, Lin Geng Xin, Zheng Kai, Chen Xuedong, Huang Xuan, Yang Mi, Luhan, Mackenzie Foy, Gui Gui, Wang Junkai, Yu Xintian, and Liu Qiong.

China All Stars: (L-R) Jing Tian, Zhang Hanyu, Eddie Peng, Lin Geng Xin, and Zheng Kai. 2nd row (L-R) Huang Xuan, Yang Mi, Luhan, Gui Gui, and Wang Junkai.

Behind the cameras also stand highly-acclaimed figures. Directing is Zhang Yimou whose most popular works within the decade includes “House of Flying Daggers,” “Curse of the Golden Flower,” and “The Flowers of War,” the last being an international movie headlined by Christian Bale. The final script was penned by the team of Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Tony Gilroy, Doug Miro, and Carlo Bernard.

“The Great Wall” has begun principal photography in Qingdao, China on March 30, and is set to be released on November 23, 2016 by Universal Pictures.