Rogue Pictures, a genre division of Focus Features, has picked up the American rights to Jet Li's latest hit, Fearless. The film, which dominated the box offices of Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia when it opened last weekend, is the story of martial arts legend Huo Yuanjia and his "triumph...in his personal and physical battles to become the most famous Chinese fighter around the turn of the 20th century."

Working against the film's potential success in the US, however, are a couple of obstacles. First of all, Rogue's track record is awful. Of the nine films (including Unleashed, which also starred Li) they have distributed to this point, only one - Shaun of the Dead - has been successful. Though I respect them a ton for picking up Orgazmo, it's hard to call it (or, for example, Seed of Chucky and Trippin', both of which Rogue also released) a good movie. Another potential stumbling block is the fact that so few Americans are familiar with Huo Yuanjia that his story could prove to be a hard sell. On the other hand, the film looks exciting, and Li has a solid base of followers. In addition, the rumor that this will be his last martial arts role may make that base even bigger than it already is.

Rogue plans to have Fearless in theaters, well, some time between now and 2007. We'll try to keep you posted.
categories Movies, Cinematical