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Tragedy struck the set of the latest Jackie Chan movie, Skiptrace, as a boat containing several crew members capsized, and one crew member drowned.
South China Morning Press confirms the deadly accident, revealing that 51-year-old cinematographer Chan Kwok-hung drowned in the waters off Lantau Island after the boat that carried multiple crew members capsized. The paper notes that "seven other crew members were able to swim back to shore" following the accident, but that Kwok-hung’s body was later discovered and he was pronounced dead. Jackie Chan was not on the boat, according to reports, though THR adds that the legendary actor was "onshore when the boat capsized and he reportedly jumped into the water to help rescue crew members."
The on-set tragedy calls to mind the recent death of camera assistant Sarah Jones, who was hit by a train while working in the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider near Savannah, Georgia. That, too, was an accident that feels like it might have been prevented if there were more safety precautions in place to protect crew members. Jones’ death on the set of Midnight Rider became a focal point and a rally cry by the film industry to do more to protect crew members who are working on set to obtain a particular shot. There’s an ongoing investigation to find out what, exactly, happened to the boat Kwok-hung was riding on, but it will be interesting to see if this accident also inspires crew members and industry executives to step up security protocols to avoid similar tragedies on upcoming film shoots.
Not that Jackie Chan has been known for practicing his own safety protocols in years past. As you can see in the clip above, the indestructible action star made a name for himself by putting his body in the most dangerous positions possible if it meant securing the right shot.
We started tracking Skiptrace when Jackie Chan signed on with director Renny Harlin and, at the time, Seann William Scott. According to IMDB, though, Johnny Knoxville now stars in this action comedy about a Hong Kong detective (Chan) who teams up with an American gambler to take down a Chinese criminal. Oh, so they want to do this all over again?
The movie has a December 2015 release date for China, and 2016 for other territories. We will see if this new tragedy affects those dates.