Martial arts movie action is heating up in China and Hong Kong again in a big way. It has been announced that superstar actors Jackie Chan, Andy Lau and Nicholas Tse will headline the massive $30 million martial arts epic SHAOLIN which is to be shot on the actual grounds of the real Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, China. This will be the first time a movie has been shot there since 1982 when a young wushu champion named Jet Li made his big screen debut in the movie SHAOLIN TEMPLE.
Production will begin at the end of the year under the direction of NEW POLICE STORY helmer Benny Chan with action choreographed by Corey Yuen. Release is set for 2010.
Other stars attached include wushu actor Wu Jing, Yu Shaoqun and Fan Bingbing. They will all be backed up by thousands of real Shaolin students.
SHAOLIN is set in the early 20th century when China was at war. Nicholas Tse will play a wealthy young man who finds refuge in the temple after a tragic incident in his family. He meets his kung fu master, played by Jackie Chan, in the temple as well as future enemies.
Jackie Chan as a Shaolin monk? I’m not sure what to make of that but I like seeing him finally being cast in a martial arts movie in an elder role.
Nicholas Tse has been working hard to build up his screen fighting skills in recent years and although he has lacked visible power I have no doubts that he’ll be able to play a competent action lead.
My hope is that his chief enemy ends up being played by Wu Jing but we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the casting shakes out.
Regardless, the near future is looking extremely bright for martial arts movie fans. After a lull, it looks like Chinese filmmakers are finally beginning to find their next generation of screen fighting talent while finding the right place for veterans to support them. If nothing else, this completely makes up for having to see that horrible trailer for Jackie Chan’s THE SPY NEXT DOOR. Now I wonder if Chan will shave his head for this new role.
Source: Screen Daily
Andy Lau • Fan Bingbing • Jackie Chan • Jacky Wu Jing • Nicholas Tse • Shaolin (2010) • shaolin temple