By Ryan Parsons | Image property of respective holders, Variety.
Wasn't it Jet Li who announced he was done with epics? Well, I don't know what you'd call The Forbidden Kingdom, but it sounds pretty epic-ish to me.
Jackie Chan, Jet Li for The Forbidden Kingdom
Lionsgate has boarded The Forbidden Kingdom, a martial-arts actioner that pairs Jackie Chan and Jet Li for the first time ever on the big screen.
Lionsgate will get distribution help from The Weinstein Co., who will handle distribution rights in Spain, France and Latin America.
Penned by John Fusco, The Forbidden Kingdom is Based on the Chinese legend of the monkey king, story revolves around an American teenager who discovers the king's legendary stick weapon in a pawn shop. Teen is transported back in time to ancient China, where he joins a crew of warriors fighting to free the imprisoned king. Kind of like Last Action Hero, but with no Arnold, theatre or magical ticket.
Li is set to play two roles, that of the monkey king and the silent monk. Chan will pay the monk T'sa-Ho.
Those of you who saw the ad campaign for Fearless likely remember that Rogue Pictures called it Jet Li's last martial-arts epic. Lionsgate is dodging that bullet with Forbidden by calling it an action-adventure. Kind of like me first telling you I am six foot tall, and then coming back later claiming I am just one inch short of six-foot-one.
Kingdom will begin filming this May with hopes of a September 2008 release.