With the imminent arrival of Rush Hour 3,due on August 10, it's a good time to consider briefly the parallel careers Jackie Chan has been pursuing since the break-out success of the first film in the franchise way back in 1998. Sure, he's made more bigger-budgeted action pictures in Hollywood (Shanghai Noon and Knights, The Tuxedo, Around the World in 80 Days), but he's also been making smaller-budgeted yet generally more satisfying films in Hong Kong, aimed at Asian audiences (Gorgeous, The Accidental Spy, The Myth, Rob-B-Hood). Now aged 53, Chan is still more fit and agile than 95% of the male population, but he can't do what he once did, stunt or action-wise. While not specifically acknowledging a physical slowdown, he has said in interviews that he wanted to do a wider variety of roles.

An Associated Press article last week reported that Chan has been set to star in The Shinjuku Incident, a drama set in Tokyo's crowded Shinjuku shopping and entertainment district. The AP based their story on Chinese media reports saying the film will focus on the lives in Chinese immigrants and that it would be "more drama than action," according to director Derek Yee.Variety's more recent report says that Chan will also produce and that the film will be set in the 1990's.

The combination of Yee and Chan could be potent. Chan's best ever dramatic work came in Crime Story under the direction of Kirk Wong. Yee is an actor-turned-director; he made two of my favorites from the 1990's (C'est la Vie, Mon Cherie and Full Throttle) and recently won acclaim for the crime dramas One Nite in Mongkok and Protege. We may not have to wait too long to see the results; Chan is still working on The Forbidden Kingdom with Jet Li, but filming on The Shinjuku Incident is due to start this fall.
categories Movies, Cinematical