Love him or hate him but after five minutes in his company Jackie Chan has won you over. Sure his movies aren’t for all of us but he sure does have a lot of followers, including tons of journalists at today’s official launch for his next movie ‘Chinese Zodiac’…which may be his last big action movie.
One of the journalists was saying how he grew up loving Jackie Chan movies and now his son, who is seven, is a die-hard Jackie Chan fan. He also wanted to know if Jackie had any plans to keep his legacy going after he leaves us – like video games for these die-hards.
One of his biggest followers is American director/producer Brett Ratner, who was also present at the gathering in the Grand Salon in Canne’s Carlton Hotel. Brett says that if he hadn’t directed ‘Rush Hour’ all those years ago, he wouldn’t be where he is today (which is in an incredibly powerful position in Hollywood, with a lot of money!).
He says that during the films’ productions “whatever Jackie wants, Jackie gets”. Brett pretty much gives him free reign.
For ‘Chinese Zodiac’, Brett assisted Jackie with the cast selection and advised on some of the stunts which Jackie totally did for real (like he always does). There is one almost death-defying scene in which Jackie is suspended above a huge fan which is basically like a Boeing Engine which blows air at 280 MPH! In another scene he films in an active volcano…so there are NO boundaries when it comes to Jackie doing stunts. Until now.
Jackie announced that he thinks this is his last major stunt movie as he doesn’t believe his body can handle it very much longer.
That’s part of the reason for this movie ‘Chinese Zodiac’ – it’s not packed with stunts and fighting, but also showcases his acting ability…which Jackie hopes will allow him to move across to different roles that require less physical intensity.
He admittted he wouldn’t mind being Batman as that would be a “breeze” (and clenches his fist and puts his arm out in front of him like he’s about to fly) because Batman is filmed in front of a green screeen with harnesses so it’s really easy and not physically demanding at all.
‘Chinese Zodiac’ was filmed all over the world including Australia, Beijing, China, France and Taiwan with Latvia having a very special sequence. The cast included actors from Korea and France.
The French actress Laura Weissbecker even learnt to speak Mandarin within six months which Jackie was amazed by. She spoke a little Mandarin at the press conference for us to hear. She couldn’t stop praising Jackie (in English, so we understood!) for how helpful he was and how he was about the bigger picture and wanting to give back to the world – Jackie has numerous charities that he’s set up so he is very conscious of making a difference.
‘Chinese Zodiac’ is due for release in December.