So this is definitely bummer news for fans of martial arts and great stuntwork, myself included.
Yes, Jackie Chan has apparently announced that he’s too old for the crazy fight stunts he’s famous for and will be retiring from action films.
As the Associated Press reports, Chan has officially announced that Chinese Zodiac will be his last action film, capping off an incredible career of death defying stunts that pushed the envelope with what stunt people are capable of.
Chan, who is 58, said that people don’t believe him when he says he’s done, but apparently he is indeed out of the action game. “They say, ‘No, you’re still young, you can still do it,’ but I have to stop one day.”
Back in the early eighties, Fred Weintraub, who produced Enter the Dragon, brought Jackie Chan over to the U.S. for The Big Brawl, and Chan also had a cameo in the Burt Reynolds comedies Cannoball Run I and II. But with the chop socky genre past its prime, Chan didn’t take to American audiences until the 1997 film Rumble in the Bronx. Once Brett Ratner cast him opposite Chris Tucker in Rush Hour, Chan finally became an A-list star in America.
Chan’s certainly had his share of injuries and near death moments in delivering his great brand of stuntwork, and at this stage of the game, it’s definitely taken its toll on his physical well being. “It hurts, it really hurts,” he said. “The shoulder, the ankle, it really hurts. You don’t know because I still look healthy.”
In his autobiography, I Am Jackie Chan, he addressed his injuries in depth, including a brain hemorrhage on the film Armor of God that almost killed him and left a hole in his skull, nearly losing an eye on Drunken Master, breaking his nose three times on three separate movies, dislocating a cheekbone on Supercop, getting a tooth knocked out on Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, a dislocated shoulder on City Hunter, and more.
Like many action stars once they reach a certain age, Chan wants to prove to the world that he can really act, adding, “When I look at Hollywood, at Robert De Niro, he can do anything – comedy, drama. Clint Eastwood – 60-70 years old, he can still move. [An] action stars’ life is so short. Actor’s life is very long. I want to show audiences I can act.”