Jackie Chan is in Cannes this year, once again tempting us to ask "How are you enjoying this year's Channes Film Festival?" but resisting on the basis that it's not very funny. Instead, we bombarded him with questions about his upcoming project Skiptrace, as well as the Police Story reboot Police Story 2013 and, of course, Expendables 3.
"[The Expendables team] did contact me, but right now I have not read the script yet," says Chan. "I’d love to work with Stallone, but until I get back next week and meet Stallone and his manager, see the script… that’s when he’ll tell me what happens."
"I’d most like to have a fight scene with Stallone. Though I’d like to team up with him against the bad guy. There are so many action stars involved, it must be so difficult being the director. How do you share out every scene? 'I want to do something special, I want to do something special!' At the end, it’s all small parts, small parts, small parts. I want a big part! I hope I have a big part with Stallone!"
But this fight scene with Stallone... who would win in that fight? "I would", replies Chan with a smile. "I run faster than him."
Police Story 2013 is a different kettle of fish, however. Another reboot of a movie franchise from Chan's heyday, it sees him return not as Kevin Chan Ka-Kui, but an entirely different character: a policeman not from Hong Kong, but from the mainland.
"I’ve just finished Police Story 2013. It’s totally different to my last movie, 12 Zodiac [also known as CZ12 and Chinese Zodiac, a 2012 pseudo-reboot of the Armour Of God series]. 12 Zodiac was 'ah-ah-ah-ah-ah' (mimes fast kung fu moves), whereas Police Story 2013 is very much a drama. That’s why I choose different roles every year – I don’t like to do three 12 Zodiacs in a row, then Rush Hours 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. So after 12 Zodiac, then Police Story, now I’m doing Skiptrace. A different kind of character. Next year, probably Karate Kid 2, then I’m back to the old things again."
The aforementioned Skiptrace is a pet project of Chan's that's finally coming to screens thanks to new director Sam Fell, who you probably recognise from his work helming feature-length animations Paranorman and Flushed Away (he talked to us about the former here). Not your usual action director, perhaps, but Skiptrace isn't your usual action film, seeing Chan buddy up with a new partner (who hasn't yet been cast) as they go around East Asia prodding buttock.
"This is a script I’ve been developing for 20 years," says Chan. "One of my babies. Then I gave it to Sam, he changes a lot of the script, he changes a lot of the characters. I really want the situation to help with a lot of the stunts. You don’t want another restaurant, a beach, a boat… I have to find new locations for the fights. And this movie is all about the locations. Mongolia, Siberia, Macau, Hong Kong, Yellow River, Vietnam, construction sites… that helps with a lot of action comedy."
Skiptrace is looking to shoot in September, with X-Men: Days Of Future Past's Fan Bingbing already locked in. Chris Tucker was offered the script, but Chan wasn't keen on his casting as he thought the film would inevitably morph into Rush Hour 4.
Expendables 3, meanwhile, has a director - Red Hill's Patrick Hughes - and a strange new poster with the tagline "Never send a boy to do a man's job" but no confirmed dates. Rumours about Wesley Snipes and Mickey Rourke coming on board are also circulating. More news on Police Story 2013's distribution as we get it.