Stars I would like to see in a film with Jackie Chan (film pitch)

Stars I would like to see in a film with Jackie Chan (film pitch)

25. November 2023 Off By Thorsten Boose

On 16 May 2023, Sony Pictures launched its casting call for a “major motion picture with […] Jackie Chan”. Shooting was scheduled for September to December 2023. Then came the WAG and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Then, on 21 November 2023, Sony Pictures really set the global internet lines ablaze.

The video with Ralph Macchio and Jackie Chan was clicked on millions of times on all platforms. Another casting call was issued for the role of the new Karate Kid. It’s going to happen! The hype is real and I thought to myself: Okay. But there are still stars I want to see in a film alongside Jackie Chan.

While we continue to wait for exciting news about the sixth and final season of “Cobra Kai” and the new Karate Kid film to follow, I’m going to pitch the following ideas.

Ali Wong

The naughty comedy ace, and I mean that as a compliment, has impressed me time and time again since her work as a writer for the hit series “Fresh Off The Boat” (2015-2020). Her comedy specials were always on point for me. Alongside Randall Park, she impresses in the romantic comedy “Always Be My Maybe” (2019) and with the mini-series “Beef” (2023) at the latest, every cineast should have the 4-time Emmy nominee on their radar. Ali Wong manages the balancing act between silly and highly serious, telling stories from life.

The US-American with Chinese-Vietnamese roots has not yet worked with Jackie Chan. However, a script called “Quackers”, an animated film that is to be produced by Jackie Chan’s Sparkle Roll Media, among others, has been circulating for some time. There is no official statement on this yet. But I have an idea for a joint film.

My pitch for “For my Dad”

Drama, Family, Comedy | PG-13 | 114 min

Fong (Jackie Chan) is a Chinese dentist in Singapore. Despite his advanced age, he throws himself into work because his beloved wife has just died of cancer. His only daughter May (Ali Wong) has lived in the USA for 25 years and has only ever visited her family for the holidays. Her mother hated her. However, May now wants to mend the fractured relationship with her father and tries to persuade him to move to the USA with her, where Fong can enjoy his retirement with his grandchildren. Her father is actually in favour of this, but May’s husband is a white man and, even worse, an oncologist. The trauma of his wife’s death and intergenerational racism at a time when ethnic groups are moving closer together worldwide trigger a dilemma in Fong that he can only overcome with the love of his family.

Shah Rukh Khan

SRK has been a stuntman, action hero and heartbreaker in Bollywood cinema for over three decades. As early as 1999, he paid tribute to his role model Jackie Chan when he combined scenes from “Mr Nice Guy” (1997) and “Rush Hour” (1998) in “Baadshah”.

In 2011, Shah Rukh Khan wanted to star together with Jackie Chan in “Ra.One” and thus make the Indian and Chinese box offices ring. Jackie unfortunately declined and produced “Kung Fu Yoga”, his own Indian-Chinese co-production, in 2017.

Chan the Man will be 70 years old in 2024, SRK is approaching 60. The end of action? Thanks to CGI and the rising popularity of stories from the film business (see “Ride On” and “The Movie Emperor”, both from 2023), not necessarily.

My pitch for “1962”

Drama, History, Adventure | PG-13 | 145 min

Two ageing film stars, SRK and JC, revisit their historical past in a documentary about the 1962 India-China border war. While travelling to the border area, they are celebrated by fans for their on-screen adventures in their prime. They are confronted with unresolved personal issues from the past as they realise the contrast between real life on the border and the multi-million dollar business meetings with film studios in a very short space of time – poverty on one side, affluence on the other. Their documentary develops into a cultural exchange that is not supported by everyone. Because even if they wanted to, greedy financial advisors and bankers do not simply allow the film stars’ wealth to be redistributed.

James Wan

Yes, directors are film stars too. The Malaysian filmmaker has given the horror genre some classics in recent years with films such as “Saw” (2004), “Insidious” (2010) and “Conjuring” (2013). And anyone who manages to relocate Cary Elwes from the comedy “Robin Hood: Men In Tights” (1993) to a horror thriller would, in my opinion, also manage to do so with a former kung fu clown.

Would you like to see Jackie Chan in a horror thriller? I would.

My pitch for “Forgotten”

Mystery, Horror, Thriller | R | 99 min

Jackie Chan is an ageing gravedigger who wants to earn some extra money in New England. Nobody else does this “dirty work” any more. After a three-day storm with heavy rainfall, he finds the cemetery where he works devastated. In the truest sense of the word, he has an incredible amount of work ahead of him. When he takes a closer look at the damage, he discovers a secret passage into a hidden underworld beneath a crypt. He finds electricity, house furnishings and entire shops, even means of transport from an earlier society. But this world is not as deserted as it seems.

Sylvester Stallone

There is no doubt that the 1980s belonged to action film heroes. “Police Story” (1985) made such an impression on Sylvester “Sly” Stallone that he reshot the bus scene from the original film almost frame for frame for “Tango & Cash” in 1989.

Since then, Jackie and Sly have been in talks for a joint action film. Jackie turned down the role of Simon Phoenix in “Demolition Man” (1993); he didn’t want to play a villain. In 1997, “Thai Horse” was pitched, but the success of “Rush Hour” (1998) caused many scripts to disappear into the drawer again.

One of them always made it back to the rewrites: “Rambo IV”. It was developed after the third instalment and rewritten again and again. When Miramax bought the rights to the Rambo films and some Jackie movies in 1997, they saw the chance of a joint blockbuster. But once again Jackie was to play the villain, a drug lord. He turned it down and the script was rewritten again. In 2001, it was still not off the table, but the film was released in 2008 without Jackie Chan’s involvement.

Then came the Expendables films. Sly wanted Jackie in it from the start, but he on the other hand wanted to set up a solo vehicle with his mate. After all, Jackie sent his stunt team to part four as support. A script and a mega-budget project were agreed in 2017 with “Ex-Baghdad”. After six years, “Ex-Baghdad” became “Hidden Strike” and Sylvester Stallone became John Cena. Despite many efforts, Sly and Jackie have still not managed to get anything cinematic off the ground (“An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn” from 1997 is deliberately ignored here for various reasons).

My pitch for “One Last Time”

Comedy, Action, Drama | PG | 122 min

2025: China is pouring billions into the domestic entertainment and pop industry. The country is experiencing a new cultural exchange with the world. The “who’s who” of entertainment meet at the World Comic Con in Chongqing. Official ambassador Jackie Chan invites and shows his presence at the mega event for a week. In addition to the veterans like Sly, the younger generation of action film heroes are also at the start and are on hand for fan photos and autographs. A group of radical anti-globalists seize their opportunity for media attention and carry out an act of terrorism on the festival grounds. Can three generations of action stars join forces and do something against the armed ideologues?

Samara Weaving

Nobody screams like Jamie Lee Curtis. The Californian Halloween actress may still have the reputation of the Scream Queen, but for me she had some strong competition years ago – from Good Old Down Under.

Samara Weaving, niece of the famous Hugo Weaving (known for his successful roles as Elrond, Agent Smith and Red Skull), won me over with her performance in “The Babysitter” (2017) and “Ready Or Not” (2019) in the horror-comedy genre: she can do horror, action, comedy and drama.

As a character actress, she does an excellent job in the mystery thriller “Last Moment Of Clarity” (2020) and the miniseries “Hollywood” (2020) and proves that she is not a blonde doll with blue eyes, but an actress to be taken seriously. I would love to see her in a completely different role.

My pitch for “The Value Of Life”

Drama, Comedy, Adventure | PG | 110 min

Nicole “Nicky” Williams (Samara Weaving) is a carer in a retirement home in Canberra, Australia. Like many carers, she is massively overworked as nursing homes are notoriously understaffed. She and her colleagues have too little time for their patients, which prompts her to found a self-help organisation out of frustration in order to persuade the state to provide more support. The extra work takes its toll: lack of a private life, frustration, overtiredness, small mistakes at work. One day, when Nicky accidentally moves her patient Chen Hsin’s (Jackie Chan) personal belongings, she finds old photos of him on film sets. Nicky and Chen get talking and it turns out that her patient used to be a famous actor in China. A wonderful, intergenerational friendship develops that makes Chen’s last years special and allows Nicky to find her true happiness in life.

Of course, these are all just spontaneous ideas, wishes and visions. But who knows, maybe one or two scripts are already being worked on as you read these lines. Personally, I have a few more names from the film industry to mention: Fan Bing Bing, Daniel Radcliffe, Angela Bassett, Nicolas Cage, Jella Haase, . . .

Not to mention my favourite stunt performers. But that’s another topic.