While Jet Li enters the twilight of his acting career, he’s been slowly taking up other roles. He hasn’t delved into directing, but he has tried his hand at being a producer. His latest venture is Stephen Fung’s “Tai Chi 0″, a China-set epic that focuses on the misunderstood martial art. Interestingly, this will not be a traditional period piece, as it features elements of steampunk. Could be cheesy as hell or could be pretty cool. Sadly, the stuff coming out of mainland China and Hong Kong in the last decade has been largely rubbish, so let’s hope this is one of those exceptions to the norm. As a filmmaker, Fung is pretty hit & miss, so I’m not holding my breath that this will be much good. Still, you never know.
Here’s the official synopsis: “From the creators of Detective Dee and Shaolin Soccer, featuring martial arts choreography by the legendary Sammo Hung (Ip Man 2), and produced by international megastar Jet Li (Hero), Tai Chi 0 tells the story of Yang Luchan, a young genius who, tired of being picked on, travels to Chen Village to learn the art of Tai Chi. Luchan finds out the hard way that it is forbidden for a villager to teach an outsider when the villagers, from strong men to old women to little children, repeatedly challenge him to a series of fights, all of which he loses quite badly.
But when a frightening army of steampunk soldiers bearing strange machines shows up, the villagers realize that in order to save their home, they must trust this strange outsider with the knowledge of Tai Chi. Directed by Stephen Fung, Tai Chi 0 is the first of a planned trilogy.”
“Tai Chi 0″ premieres 26th September in China.