Contrary to widely circulated reports, 58-year-old legend Jackie Chan insists he isn’t finished with action films just yet.
Appearing Thursday at Comic-Con International to promote CZ 12 (Chinese Zodiac), which had been characterized as his farewell to the genre, the actor/director was quick to set the record straight: He meant big action movies.
“No — this wrong message!” Chan told the moderator in the cavernous Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center. “It’s not last action film — I’m not retiring! I think it’s my probably last big action movie.”
And big it is. Written, directed and produced by Chan, CZ 12 sees him reprising role as Asian Hawk, the adventurer he played in 1986’s Armour of God and 1991’s Armour of God II: Operation Condor, who’s tasked with bringing back the bronze head statues of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals stolen by the French and British armies from the imperial Summer Palace in 1860. The film was shot in eight countries at a cost of $47 million.
Word of Chan’s retirement emerged at Cannes in May when the actor was quoted as saying, “This is my last action film. I tell you, I’m not young any more. I’m really, really tired.” That the comments were interpreted as his departure from the genre shouldn’t be surprising, considering that he’s been openly discussing retirement for the past couple of years.
But in Hall H, Chan indicated he’d jump at the chance to appear alongside Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and other action legends in an installment of The Expendables.
“All the old friends together — so fun!” he said in response to a question from the audience. “I was almost involved, but at that time I’m making the 12 Zodiacs. Nothing — only 12 Zodiacs. Now, I just finished — at that time, they touch on me, but I just say sorry, I cannot.”
When the moderator suggested there could be a role for him in a third Expendables film, Chan replied, “I love Stallone! I really want to make the movie with him together.”
CZ 12 opens Dec. 12.