JACKIE CHAN EM­BARKS ON AN IN­DIAN AD­VEN­TURE

The Hong Kong star’s lat­est action-com­edy, KungFuYoga, in which Chan stars as an arche­ol­o­gist in a Sino-In­dian co­pro­duc­tion, will hit main­land screens on Jan 28. reports.

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

Jackie Chan is tak­ing his ad­ven­tures to a new level. In his lat­est movie — in which he drives a car car­ry­ing a lion in the back seat — the big cat is not com­puter-gen­er­ated. The very real preda­tor is owned by Dubai’s royal fam­ily.

Chan plays an arche­ol­o­gist who seeks a lost trea­sure us­ing an an­cient map in the ac­tion­com­edy Kung Fu Yoga.

The movie, which is one of three Sino-In­dian co­pro­duc­tions be­ing made as a re­sult of an agree­ment be­tween the two coun­tries, will be re­leased on Jan 28, the first day of the Chi­nese Lunar New Year.

The film’s trailer fea­tur­ing the lion “pas­sen­ger”, which was re­leased on Jan 5, has gar­nered mil­lions of clicks on ma­jor video-stream­ing sites, mak­ing Kung Fu Yoga one of the most-an­tic­i­pated films of the prof­itable Spring Fes­ti­val holiday.

Chan, who has starred in more than 100 films and been in­volved in at least an­other 100, is very pop­u­lar glob­ally for his unique blend of action and com­edy. But this forth­com­ing ti­tle is more than just an­other Chan-style action com­edy.

In Septem­ber 2014, China and In­dia signed a ground­break­ing agree­ment on co­pro­duc­ing films, in a bid to bring the two ma­jor movie power- houses to­gether.

It yielded re­sults in May the fol­low­ing year, when China’s State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Press, Pub­li­ca­tion, Ra­dio, Film and Tele­vi­sion, and the In­dian em­bassy in China an­nounced plans for three jointly pro­duced films.

Kung Fu Yoga is one of the three films. The other two are a bi­o­graph­i­cal fea­ture of Xuan Zang, based on the sev­en­th­cen­tury monk’s pil­grim­age to In­dia, and Bud­dies in In­dia, co­me­dian Wang Bao­qiang’s di­rec­to­rial de­but. Xuan Zang was re­leased in April and Bud­dies in In­dia will also pre­miere dur­ing the up­com­ing Spring Fes­ti­val.

Of the three films, Chan’s movie is ex­pected to make an im­pres­sion in In­dia as the star’s early Hol­ly­wood block­busters — Rum­ble in the Bronx (1995) and Rush Hour (1998) — made him a well­known name in the coun­try. Also, Chan’s pro­file in In­dia was boosted when his 2005 fan­tasy epic The Myth was filmed there.

Disha Patani, an In­dian ac­tress in the film, says: “In In­dia, most young peo­ple have grown up watch­ing Chan’s action movies. He is very fa­mous in In­dia. For me, it’s like a dream come true to work with him.”

The pop­u­lar­ity of Chan’s action films means that many In­di­ans be­lieve most Chi­nese can per­form martial-arts stunts like the actor, says Amyra Das­tur, an In­dia model-ac­tress who also has a role in the film.

Both the ac­tresses — Patani, who plays an In­dia pro­fes­sor as­sist­ing Chan, and Das­tur, who plays her sis­ter — say that the film is their first Chi­ne­se­lan­guage movie.

The flick also fea­tures veteran actor Sonu Sood, who has starred in more than 60 Bollywood pro­duc­tions.

As for the com­mer­cial prospects of the film, Chi­nese film­mak­ers be­lieve it will make a splash in both mar­kets.

“Kung fu is a sym­bol of China, just like yoga is of In­dia,” says Stan­ley Tong, the Hong Kong direc­tor who helped make Chan fa­mous in Hol­ly­wood.

The new film sees them team­ing up again af­ter Rum­ble in the Bronx, Po­lice Story 4: First Strike and CZ12.

Speak­ing about the chal­lenges faced in mak­ing the movie, Tong says: “It is a bit dif­fi­cult to mix two cul­tures. I read a lot of an­cient books, es­pe­cially on cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the Tang Dy­nasty, which in­spired me.”

Giv­ing de­tails on the other as­pects of the movie, Tong says the film fea­tures scenes shot in Ice­land and Dubai. Most of Chan’s action films of­fer vis­ual feasts.

“My job was to make this (action film) more cre­ative and dif­fer­ent.”

Also, us­ing his per­sonal con­nec­tions with Dubai’s royal fam­ily, Tong bor­rowed sev­eral an­i­mals, in­clud­ing the lion, from them, be­sides some very ex­pen­sive sports cars.

For Chan, how­ever, the movie is all in a day’s work. “I love to be on a film set. It’s my amuse­ment park. I al­ways have new ideas and re­al­ize my dreams when I am there,” the 62-year-old says.

On the sets, Chan is said to al­ways lead by ex­am­ple, whether do­ing stunts, chore­og­ra­phy or just be­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally aware.

See­ing Chan pick­ing up dis­carded bot­tles and us­ing pa­per tow­els spar­ingly on the sets was an eye-opener for the two In­dian ac­tresses.

Mean­while, Jonathan Shen, founder of Shinework Me­dia, one of the film’s Chi­nese pro­duc­ers, says the movie will en­hance links be­tween Chi­nese and In­dian film­mak­ers.

He says that the film will be re­leased in around 500 cine­mas in In­dia.

Con­tact the writer at xu­fan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

fea­tures (clock­wise from top left) Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan and In­dian ac­tress Disha Patani; veteran In­dian

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The up­com­ing Sino-In­dian co­pro­duc­tion KungFuYoga actor Sonu Sood and Hong Kong actor/singer Aarif Lee.

Jackie Chan (sec­ond from left) re­unites with Hong Kong direc­tor Stan­ley Tong (third from left) in the action com­edy KungFuYoga.

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