Huayi Brothers Media, the giant Chinese studio behind such productions as KUNG FU HUSTLE (2004), THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM (2008), and the Asian blockbuster AFTERSHOCK (2010), held a press conference in Beijing yesterday to announce an ambitious new slate of films. Upcoming projects include PAINTED SKIN 2, a prequel to DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME (2010), and a new Jackie Chan film called CHINESE ZODIAC. Of particular interest to kung fu movie fans is a new Jet Li project, tentatively titled TAI CHI (although Stephen Chow apparently has first dibs on that title for his WAY OF THE DRAGON remake). Li will produce the film, which will be directed by Stephen Fung Tak Lun, who is notable for having directed ENTER THE PHOENIX in 2004 and HOUSE OF FURY in 2005. Fung stated he was open to the possibility of Jet Li handling the action choreography since “no one understands the tai chi spirit more than Li.”
Jet Li of course was the star of the classic Yuen Woo-ping film THE TAI CHI MASTER (1993), where he played the legendary tai chi innovator Zhang Sanfeng. Evidently the new film will not be a remake of the earlier hit. Li is a longtime practitioner of tai chi, and has declared that it is his dream to promote tai chi pushing hands as an Olympic sport.