Lionsgate Lands Li, Chan Pairing
Production begins in May with Angarano co-starring
Long untitled as the J & J Project, the film has also acquired a title, "The Forbidden Kingdom."
Production on "The Forbidden Kingdom" will begin in China on May 2 with Rob Minkoff ("Stuart Little") at the helm. The "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" team of cinematographer Peter Pau and action choreographer Wo Ping are also expected to lend their expertise.
The script, from John Fusco, is built around the legend of the Monkey King. A contemporary American teenager (Michael Angarano) gets transported to Ancient China and becomes involved in a quest to rescue the king.
"It's an honor to be working with Jackie and Jet, and a testament to the quality of John's script," says producer Casey Silver. "Rob's passion and perspective on the movie promise an exciting ride for the audience. We're also terribly excited by the opportunity to collaborate with action director Wo Ping, DP Peter Pau, and a host of exceptionally talented performers and technicians from Asian cinema."
Lionsgate plans to release "The Forbidden Kingdom" in the summer of 2008.
Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lionsgate, adds "'The Forbidden Kingdom' has all the makings of a modern classic, and we are thrilled to fly its flag at Lionsgate. 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."