Jackie Chan has been making films for longer than most of us have been alive. He started out as a child actor, then an extra who gets his neck snapped by Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon, and then he went on to have quite the career in Hong Kong cinema before he went over to Hollywood.
He made a pretty decent debut with Rumble In The Bronx (I know he was in Cannonball Run II, but I’m not counting that.) and went on to make lots of moolah with the terrible Rush Hour franchise, and other films like The Tuxedo, as well as The Spy Next Door.
Interestingly enough, even though he “went Hollywood” he never exclusively worked there. He made other films in China, and never turned his back on what made him a star in the first place. His latest film, Chinese Zodiac is a return to the Armour Of God franchise, and according to Chan’s words at Cannes, it will be his last action film.
At the age of 58, he’s being told he’s still young, but in his words:
“It hurts, it really hurts,” he says, flinching. “The shoulder, the ankle, it really hurts. You don’t know because I still look healthy.”
With him being the one actor to do his own stunts for the majority of his career (He’s admitted to using stunt doubles only in recent years.) that quote doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s got to be on all kinds of pain medication.
The word on Chinese Zodiac has been really good, so it’s nice to know that he wants to go out on top, and he’s saying it’s an important film to him, so even if it’s a flop, at least he’ll be proud.
Now does this mean he’s retiring? Hell no. He says he wants to segue into dramatic acting, and I wouldn’t rule out further comedies, as humor has always been associated with him. PLUS, even though he’s saying he’s done with action, I’m pretty sure he means doing heavy stunts and other physically demanding roles. He could always BE in action films, with a role that doesn’t require him to do lots of stunts. Perhaps he could finally play a villain?
Either way it’s good to know that even though he’s retiring from action films, it doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of Jackie Chan on film, and I think that’s a good thing.
Update: Here’s the trailer for Chinese Zodiac, courtesy of B-Action Thread member, felix.