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HONG KONG — The next installment of The Expendables franchise will take on a more distinct Chinese flavor, with Jackie Chan joining the Sylvester Stallone project in what the Hong Kong star described as a significant role.
“Sly had invited me to be in [The] Expendables 2 but I was too busy filming CZ12 and couldn’t make a commitment to the film,” said Chan at a Kuala Lumpur press conference promoting Chinese Zodiac, according to Malaysian film portal Cinema Online. “But he did extend his invitation to the third movie, which I agreed on the condition that I will be appearing as more than just a minor role with a few scenes.”
Chan said he also suggested Stallone rework the new film into a more “buddy-buddy” movie to suit his own style – one that brought him much fortune in the Rush Hour franchise. Stallone is now refashioning the script to that effect. Production is expected to begin next year.
While The Expendables 2 performed modestly this past summer at the U.S. box office, the film surpassed expectations with strong ticket sales in China during its September run, earning $53 million — bettering The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man, which were released at around the same time.
Produced by Nu-Image and Millennium Films with investment from China’s Le Vision Pictures and directed by Simon West, The Expendables 2 saw Jet Li returning to a franchise in a small role, and also the presence of Yu Nan, the actress previously more well-known for her roles in arthouse fare – her most internationally prominent role is in Tuya’s Marriage, the Wang Quan’an movie which won the Berlin Film Festival’s top prize in 2007. It is not yet confirmed whether the pair will return for The Expendables 3.
Meanwhile, Chan also revealed he might soon be reunited with Chris Tucker in a buddy comedy along the lines of the three Rush Hour films they co-starred in.
The project is tentatively titled Skip Tracer, according to Chan. “The script is currently viewed by Chris Tucker,” he said. “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.”
Chan’s affection for the Rush Hour franchise represents an abrupt about-face for the actor, who was quoted last week as describing his past Hollywood films as vacuous, money-making exercises, and that Rush Hour he “dislikes most.”
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