Superstars Jackie Chan and Jet Li to Pair for First Time in Lionsgate Action Epic "THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM"
The original screenplay by John Fusco (YOUNG GUNS, HIDALGO) is based on the traditional Chinese legend of the Monkey King. The film is produced by Casey Silver (LADDER 49, HIDALGO, the upcoming LEATHERHEADS, currently filming in South Carolina with director/star George Clooney and Renee Zellweger) of Casey Silver Productions.
Relativity Media is financing the film, with the company's Ryan Kavanaugh (3:10 TO YUMA, TALLEDEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY) serving as executive producer. Renowned action choreographer Wo Ping (THE MATRIX, CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON) is creating the fight sequences, and the director of photography is Peter Pau (CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON). Overseeing the production for Lionsgate are President of Theatrical Films Tom Ortenberg, President of Film Production Mike Paseornek, and President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Peter Block. The announcement was made today by Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.
Lionsgate plans a U.S. theatrical release in Summer 2008 and will co-release the film with The Weinstein Company. Lionsgate UK will self-distribute the film in the United Kingdom. The Weinstein Company will handle distribution in Spain, France and Latin America. Relativity Media will be handling foreign sales on the picture.
"THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM has all the makings of a modern classic, and we are thrilled to fly its flag at Lionsgate," said Feltheimer. "Casey Silver scored a real coup in bringing together two titans of martial arts, Jackie Chan and Jet Li, for their first onscreen pairing. He also gave them a project that is absolutely worthy of their talents, built upon a very savvy script that combines Chinese legend with the story of a modern, kung-fu obsessed teenager. And Rob Minkoff is the ideal director to handle the film's combination of heart, head and lightning-fast limbs."