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The year 2016 is going to be a pretty busy one at the movies, and apparently Jackie Chan is going to be a very busy man in that same year. Not only will we hear him returning to his role of Monkey in Kung Fu Panda 3, but he's also penciled in for three other three other films in pre-production for release. The latest was announced today, as Chan and director Nick Cassavetes are in final talks to bring the thrilling novel The Foreigner to the big screen.
Variety ran the announcement that Stephen Leather's 1992 novel The Chinaman has been adapted and ready for option through upstart production company STX. The Foreigner will pit Jackie Chan's protagonist, "a restaurant owner in London's Chinatown," against Irish terrorists. The stakes are high as these terrorists are the ones responsible for the death of Jackie Chan's daughter in the film. While Chan is known mostly for action and family friendly pictures, a suspense picture like The Foreigner might be an awesome change of pace for his career.
Helping things along is the fact that The Foreigner boasts a script written by David Marconi – the man behind films like Live Free Or Die Hard and Enemy Of The State. Coupling a writer like Marconi with Nick Cassavetes in the director's chair, there's a good chance that The Foreigner will turn out to be more of a pot boiling suspense thriller with action mixed in, as opposed to the frenetic action films from Jackie Chan's past. Think of a film more like The Equalizer than Rush Hour, and you've got an idea of what to expect.
If we're even half right about what type of film The Foreigner will turn out to be, then count us in. It's been a while since Jackie Chan has been allowed to truly kick ass for adults, and while we're not expecting anything as crazy as the man's heyday, we're definitely ready for Chan to bring it with an arsenal of weapons to back up his two bare hands. The "older actor kicking ass to settle a score" genre has been dominated by Liam Neeson thus far, so seeing Jackie Chan bringing his own brand of competition to the game is something that makes us think Neeson will have to step up his game in the near future.
While no release date is set for The Foreigner, the film's shooting schedule is supposed to start in October. Seeing as production company STX is on record as aiming for 15 films a year by 2017, it's a good bet that the producing wheels for The Foreigner will be greased quite well. That is, of course, depending on whether the company's four initial films hit well enough at the box office, starting with The Gift's release on August 7th. We'll have more details as this project develops, so be sure to stay tuned in the near future for the latest updates.