In the age of long-running film franchises, and sequels that are never too late (see: TRON: Legacy), any memorable movie property is up for grabs. That holds true with comedies as well with Dumb & Dumber getting a sequel last year with its original stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels 20 years later and more recently, Zoolander 2 finally entering production 14 years after its predecessor released.
Zoolander star Owen Wilson must have found something special in returning alongside Ben Stiller for a followup, because he’s also set to rejoin another old pal to bring back another wacky comedy franchise. Wilson will re-team with Jackie Chan for a third Shanghai adventure.
2000’s Shanghai Noon, an American-Chinese western that paired the overly talkative outlaw Roy O’Bannon (Wilson) with the loyal member of the Chinese Imperial Guard Chon Wang (Chan) in a story that involved them rescuing a princess, was enough of a hit to warrant a sequel. Three years later, Shanghai Knights hit theaters, earning slightly more than the original.
Last year, Chan spoke with Den of Geek, and while he’s said in multiple interviews he’s done with big action films (he’s in his 60s), he’s in talks to return or join several major franchises, from Expendables 4 and Rush Hour 4 to Karate Kid 2 and yes, Shanghai Dawn. At the time, he just said “in talks” but according to Tracking Board‘s new report, MGM is actually now moving forward with the sequel to Shanghai Knights.
At this point, Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan are set to return with Jonathan Glickman producing. Glickman produced all of the Rush Hour and Shanghai films previously. The project still needs a writer so there’s no date yet on when Shanghai Dawn will begin shooting.
As for the other possible roles for Chan, Stallone reached out to him for bit parts in The Expendables 2 and 3, and again called his reps last year for Expendables 4. Chan turned the first two offers down because he wanted to more of a buddy action film, focusing on him and Stallone, rather than being one of many supporting characters with just a few minutes of screen time. He seems more interested in Expendables 4 however as Chan seemingly aims to return to more American films.
Given the increased importance of the Chinese film market, which looks to overtake the American box office in just a matter of years, bringing in recognizable superstar Chan could be more significant than ever to any major film’s international bankability. Chan wrote, directed, produced and starred in 2012’s Chinese Zodiac, which set records in China for being the highest-grossing action film and the second-highest-grossing film of all-time.