Though American audiences haven’t seen Jackie Chan since the Karate Kid remake, that doesn’t mean the 59-year-old international star has slowed down. He may be taking it easier on the kicking and punching, but after starring in and directing the Chinese historical epic 1911, Chan showed he’s as active in the film business as ever.
Now, it appears Chan wants to return to American cinemas, but on his own terms. A few months back, he said he would be up for Expendables 3, but only if he was offered a major role and even if that doesn’t come to fruition, he’s still got another project in the works – based on his own idea – that is starting to take shape.
Chan has been developing an action-comedy idea for a while now, but according to Coming Soon, the film now has a title, and plot synopsis – along with, possibly the most important part of all, a financier in Exclusive Media.
The film, now officially titled Skiptrace, will follow a Hong Kong detective, played by Chan, who must track down a mouthy American gambler on the run from creditors. The two unlikely partners then team up to take on Hong Kong’s most notorious criminal, while embarking on a wild journey through China’s most scenic and exotic locales.
Sam Fell (ParaNorman) is signed on to direct the script written by Jay Longino (Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation) and co-written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka (The Sitter). Chan will produce and so far, the cast includes Chan in the lead role and Bingbing Fan (X-Men: Days of Future Past) in an unknown role.
After taking this all in, there’s certainly a lot to admire about the way Chan’s passion project is coming together, but the setup and the concept seem eerily familiar. In fact, the comparisons to the Rush Hour franchise are too obvious to ignore, but fortunately, Chan is at least aware of this, as he’s previously said he didn’t want his idea to turn into Rush Hour 4.
On paper, Skiptrace has all the makings of a Rush Hour film, but Chan insisted months ago that it’s about casting and that if Chris Tucker was replaced with another actor, Skiptrace would take on a different action-comedy form. Here’s what Chan had to say about Skiptrace, Tucker and a possible Rush Hour 4 a few months back:
“The script is currently viewed by Chris Tucker. Personally, I feel that if he were to pick it up, it would be better if we turned it into “Rush Hour 4″ but I do think that three movies for the franchise is a perfect ending. It would be better to start a new buddy movie with someone new.”
As a producer, it seems like Chan would have some control over this and since we aren’t hearing Tucker’s name attached to Skiptrace now, it looks like it will be a standalone film. New writers and a new director with different comedic instincts could also help Skiptrace stand out, but until we hear more, it certainly feels like a been-there-done-that project.
What’s also interesting is that Chan has said Rush Hour is his least favorite film, so wouldn’t he want to do something completely different? Maybe that means there’s more to this script than we are currently hearing?
We’ll just have to wait and see how Skiptrace sets itself apart.
Source: Coming Soon