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Ed Zwick Drops Directing Duties for ‘The Great Wall’ (Exclusive)

Ed Zwick has dropped directing duties for the historic epic "The Great Wall"

Ed Zwick (“The Last Samurai”) has fallen off directing duties for the historic epic “The Great Wall,” an individual close to the project told to TheWrap on Monday, adding that there was a difference in visions on how to move forward on the project between Zwick and the producers, Legendary East.

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Legendary East is pushing ahead with the project, however, and seeking a new director to replace Zwick.

A decision was made earlier this summer to push the start date of the project from the fall to the spring to avoid adverse weather conditions, and there was some speculation about the future of the project. But financing remains in place for the film, the individual said, and it is moving forward.

Zwick has not yet responded to TheWrap's requests for comment.

Earlier this year, casting was announced, with a starring lineup that included Henry Cavill and Benjamin Walker. Chinese stars such as Zhang Ziyi are also reportedly being courted for the film.

The original lineup of producers for the film included Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, Charles Roven and Alex Gartner of Atlas Entertainment, as well as Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. It was unclear at press time if Zwick and Herskovitz would still function as producers.

Also read: Edward Zwick to Direct Legendary East's First Project

The first film for Legendary East, the film is set in 15th century China and follows a group of British warriors who happen upon the wall as it is under construction. They soon begin to realize that there is more to it than meets the eye.

“The Great Wall” was announced as the first film for Legendary East, a stand-alone company, which is based in Hong Kong and staffed with Chinese employees. 

At the end of last year, Legendary East terminated a distribution agreement with the Chinese group, the Huayi Brothers, which was due to distribute “The Great Wall” in China.

Earlier this summer, Zwick signed on to direct the chess-master drama “Pawn Sacrifice” with Tobey Maguire.