‘The Great Wall’ Featurette Showcases Ramin Djawadi’s Score, Plus Some Bonkers New Footage
While the controversy surrounding The Great Wall is unavoidable at this point, especially since every piece of promotional material has noted white American man Matt Damon superimposed onto shots of the most famous location in China, there are aspects of the film to look forward to, for those inclined to crane our necks to look past a few glaring historical inaccuracies. One of these aspects is composer Ramin Djawadi, one of the most versatile score writers working in film and TV today, who takes us through the “emotional journey” of The Great Wall in a new soundtrack featurette.
Djawadi is perhaps best known for his work on Game of Thrones, for which he wrote that iconic opening theme as well as the rest of the music on the show. He also worked on the music for HBO’s other phenomenon Westworld, but he’s no stranger to the movies. He’s worked on mainly action scores, providing the music for Iron Man, and big bombastic pictures like Pacific Rim and Warcraft.
For The Great Wall, Djawadi wanted to echo the bridging of East and West that Zhang Yimou’s film attempts by combining a big Hollywood orchestra with traditional Chinese instruments like the guzheng, a kind of many-stringed zither, the pipa, a kind of lute, and a few different woodwinds. I‘m also particularly intrigued by the use of the female choir — usually for movies like this (The Lord of the Rings, for example), a boys’ choir is used, and also the ladies who look like they were trained to play giant drums on set using nunchucks.
While the social politics of the movie might be very odd, just the thought of Djawadi doing the score is exciting. And this featurette certainly shows that he had a lot of fun doing it. That tune at the beginning of the video is going to be stuck in my head for the next few days, that’s for sure.
The Great Wall hits theaters February 17.