JACK BLACK IS BACK
Jack Black has voiced his Kung Fu-fighting panda Po, probably for the last time.
The actor walked the red carpet in Sydney for the premiere of Kung Fu Panda 3, his third outing as the animated panda Master Po Ping, who becomes an unlikely dragon warrior.
Black pinned a Po badge to the lapel of his suit and wore mirrored sunglasses as he greeted both fans and media at the premiere, spending almost an hour on the red carpet on Sunday night. He revealed, however, that this could be the last time fans get to see the loveable animated character.
“Well three makes sense, it’s a trilogy. What’s four, what do you call it, a four-ogy? It doesn’t sound right, I think this is it,” Black says.
There is a sliver of hope, though, for fans of the franchise – if the creators can come up with a good story, Black could be back in.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s never say never. If we have a brilliant idea for another one, why not? We’ll see,” he says.
This time around, Black’s character has graduated to the more senior position of Kung Fu master tasked with teaching the ancient martial art to a bunch of fellow pandas – Aka the Furious Five – so they can take on a warrior from the spirit realm. This ragtag bunch of pandas are voiced by Hollywood heavyweights Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen and David Cross.
Kate Hudson has also been drafted in to play Mei Mei, a confident panda, while
Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston plays Po’s biological father.
Black has high praise for his fellow cast mates, describing Cranston as “the greatest actor of all time”.
But there’s one other character who Black likes above all the others, a bunny who has one line and happens to be voiced by his 10-year-old son Sammy.
“It was great to be able to give him that opportunity. It’s crazy,” Black says.
The actor seemed pretty pleased that he was able to land his son some work.
“You know what? It’s a family business, like all business is family business, I got my boy a job,” he says.
He’s not the only actor to get work for his offspring as his co-star, Jolie, also made sure four of her children had something to say in the film with Pax (12), Zahara (10), Shiloh (9), and Knox (7) all given speaking roles.
Black landed in Sydney on Saturday and has been kept busy during his time Down Under. Aside from his red carpet appearance, he was a guest judge on Australia’s Got
Talent for the grand final on Monday night and co-hosted the Nine Network’s Today show on Monday morning.
It’s no wonder, then, that the actor has barely had a chance to see anywhere outside his hotel room during his trip. Although he does, at least, have a harbour view.
“I haven’t had time to explore at all really but they gave me a really nice hotel room,” he says.
“The room service has been unbelievable and the view outside my hotel window is gorgeous, there’s a giant boat out there, it’s a Queen Mary or something.”
Kung Fu Panda 3 opens in cinemas on March 24
WELL THREE MAKES SENSE, IT’S A TRILOGY. WHAT’S FOUR, WHAT DO YOU CALL IT, A FOUR-OGY? IT DOESN’T SOUND RIGHT
Po the panda (voiced by Jack Black) in a scene from animated film Kung Fu Panda 3.