Willem Dafoe has signed on to join Matt Damon in Legendary East's The Great Wall. Game of Thrones star Pedro Pascal was in talks to join the cast in December, but The Hollywood Reporter's story does not mention that he is involved, so it's possible he dropped out. No details were given for Willem Dafoe's character, but he may be taking over the role that Bryan Cranston was once in talks for before departing the project.

The story follows a soldier (Matt Damon) who is part of a group of mercenaries travelling to China on a mission to bring gunpowder back to Europe. His group is attacked by a number of mythical creatures, as they find themselves caught in the middle of a war between a secret warrior clan and these beasts. Production is scheduled to start this April in China.

Yimou Zhang (Hero) is directing from a screenplay by Max Brooks (World War Z), based on an original story conceived by Legendary's Thomas Tull. The original script was written by Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro (The Sorcerer's Apprentice), with Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy) also working on the screenplay. Willem Dafoe is coming off a banner year in 2014, starring in Best Picture nominee The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Fault in Our Stars, A Most Wanted Man and John Wick. He also provides his voice to the Pixar animated sequel Finding Dory.