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Jackie Chan

 

  1. Dennis Dun, Big Trouble in Little Chin, 1985.      Auteur John Carpenter’s biggest flop… Mainly due to inteference by the suits. They wanted Clint Eastwood (well, it was a respun Western) or Jack Nicolson for the hero. John wanted Russell despite his recent string of flops. Next, the suits rejected Chan - or his English - as the hero’s pal, Wang Chi.
  2. Yusaka Matsauda, Black Rain, 1989.   Jackie had no wish to be a villain.  Matsuda could not care less. He was dying from cancer. "This way, I will live forever."
  3. Jet Li, Lethal Weapon 4, 1997.   Which word did you not understand in: no villains…!   Director Richard Donner had to ask Li to slow down his fights, he was moving faster then the camera shutter speed and it was not registering on film. (Idem during Kiss of the Dragon, 2001).
  4. Wesley Snipes, Demolition Man, 1999.        Hey, you deaf Stallone! Chan does not play bad guys! His Asian fans would not approve.
  5. Chen Daoming, Ying xiong/Hero, China-Hong Kong, 2001.   Not interested. OK, it was for the King of Qin, but he  was second banana to Jet Li…  in the first Chinese film to open up as #1 at the US box-office three years later in August 2004.
  6. Brendan Fraser, Looney Tunes: Back In Action, 2002.     After Space Jam, 1996, this second go-round with all the Warners cartoon favourites had been designed as Spy Jam for Jackie. Fraser took over DJ Drake from Chan. And also achieved the more difficult chore of voicing… Himself.
  7. Vin Diesel, Baby-Sitter, 2004.       Actor Thomas Lennon is a Chan fan. Imagine his disappointment when having co-written this tough-guy-turns-baby-sitter comedy exclusively for Chan, the Hong Kong superstar turned it down.  Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis also passed.
  8. Tom Wu, Ra.One, India, 2011.        Jackie was invited to cameo as  Akaashi in  this bizarre Bollywood venture - where the  Barron Industries boss orders the ultimate video game or he’ll turn his designers into waiters.  The game  is invented but the villain (Ra.One) tries entering the real world...
  9. Daniel Craig, Cowboys and Aliens, 2011.      The great title (better than the movie) had been stuck in Development Hell since 1997 which explains why such superstars as Brendan Fraser, Chuck Norris and Mr T (!) were invited to saddle up as the outlaw hero Jake Lonergan, So were Chan, Robert Downey Jr, Bill Paxton, Kurt Russell and Bruce Willis.
  10. Jet Li,The Expendables 2,2011.   Sylvester Stallone invited Chan to join his dirty dozen, but Jackie was already he was already earning 15 credits - from director to composer for Sap ji sang ciu/Chinese Zodiac.  More likely, he wasn’t happy with a guy named Yin Yang(!). Donnie Yen passed for much the same reasoning.  Jet Li, who played Yang in the first (and later, the third) Expendables, shot his scenes in Hong Kong days before beginning The Last Stand.

 





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