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Through their careers, John Cusack, Jackie Chan and Adrien Brody have each experienced high levels of acclaim and box office success, but what happens when they all come together to make a movie in China? The result is Dragon Blade, the first trailer for which was just released online.
Written and directed by Daniel Lee, Dragon Blade is set in China in the year 48 BC. Jackie Chan plays Huo An, a commander with a 1,000-soldier army who teams up with a Roman general named Lucius (John Cusack) to try and protect the borders of China from external invaders. Unfortunately, the blood-thirsty Tiberius (Adrien Brody) has a score to settle with Lucius, and heads his direction with an army of 100,000.
I'm sure that part of it has to do with the fact that this trailer (via Webzine Check) feels like it was hastily cut together, but I can't say that I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the quality of Dragon Blade. There are scenes clearly set against fake backdrops, a bit of over-dramatic screaming, a good amount of stilted dialogue, and worst of all I'm just having a really hard time seeing John Cusack as a Roman soldier. Of course, this is just a preview and the final product could be miles and miles better, but this really isn't doing much to give me confidence.
Whether or not we will actually get to see Dragon Blade for ourselves is a whole other question entirely. Back in November we learned that the film was being sold at the American Film Market, but at this point it doesn't seem like the project has managed to find distribution. Instead, it's only release strategy currently is a simultaneous release in mid-February in both China and Singapore next year. That being said, I'm sure it will find its way to us eventually. The names John Cusack, Adrien Brody, and Jackie Chan certainly don't hold the same kind of weight that they did around 15 years ago when they were attached to movies like High Fidelity, The Pianist and Rush Hour, but there are still American audiences out there who will pay to see them work.
Sadly, if Dragon Blade doesn't wind up coming out here in the United States, you might have a little trouble getting a nice quality fix from any of the three stars. Chan is currently working on Renny Harlin's Skiptrace, which doesn't have a release date yet; Cusack has finished production on an adaptation of Stephen King's Cell; and Brody may be seen alongside Salma Hayek in the thriller Septembers of Shiraz. Hopefully one or all of those movies can be a big hit and get their respective stars back on track.