Chan, who alternates between studio and independent productions, remains a potent brand both in Chinese markets and in international territories. His last indie pictures, “Skiptrace” and “Dragon Blade,” carried budgets estimated at $32 million and $65 million, respectively, and were widely sold. “Dragon Blade” grossed $117 million in China in a Chinese New Year release.
Starring Chan, India’s Sonu Sood, Hong Kong’s Aarif Rahman, K-pop star Lay, and China’s Zhang Yi Xing and Miya Muqi, “Kung Fu Yoga” sees a Chinese archaeologist team up with an Indian professor to search for ancient treasures scattered between China, India and the Middle East.
Scenes in China and Dubai have already been shot. Indian sequences are expected to be completed next year.
The film was billed as one of the first co-productions to unite China and India, with the aim of getting a wide theatrical release in both of the world’s most populous nations. That ambition appeared to be derailed last month when major Indian studio Viacom18 pulled out of the project. However, Golden Network co-chief Clarence Tang says the picture remains on course to remain an Indian-Chinese co-venture. Currently the backers are Chan’s own Sparkle Roll Media Corp. and Beijing Taihe Entertainment.
Chan next shoots “Railroad Tigers” for director Ding Sheng, who previously worked with Chan on “Police Story 2013” and “Little Big Soldier.”
The film is a return to Jackie Chan’s cherished action comedies such as “Project A” and “Drunken Master II.” Due for release in second half of 2016, it is financed by Sparkle Roll, Shanghai Film Group and Beijing Going Zoom Media.
The 1941-set story sees Chan as a railroad worker who leads a team of freedom fighters to derail the Japanese war machine in China.
Golden Network is also continuing the martial arts riff — albeit in more hard-edged style — with “The Master.” The period story presents a conflict between one man’s personal ethics and the rules of “wuxia.”
Directed by Xu Haofeng (“Judge Archer,” “The Sword Identity”) and screenwriter of Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmaster,” “The Master” stars Liao Fan, Song Jia and Jiang Wenli.
Financed by by Beijing Century, Magilm Pictures and Heyi Pictures — the production arm of Youku Tudou — it gets a major release in China on Dec. 11.