America’s two greatest threats are now joining forces to gain complete control over the global film industry. I hate to be the one to take Hollywood to defcon four (is that the highest it goes?) with this news, but Russia and China have combined their might by assembling their two most dangerous assets–China’s Jackie Chan and Russia’s… uhm, Arnold Schwarzenegger?
This beautifully-titled co-production, The Mystery of the Dragon Seal: Journey to China, is a fantasy action/adventure which sees Chan as a master wizard and Schwarzenegger as an imposing sea captain. There’s not much information on their roles beyond that (not even if they fight!), but I like magic and ships, so I suppose I’m down.
The actual Russian contribution to this film is through director Oleg Stepchenko, who isn’t the dude who made Night Watch, so they’re not even putting their best foot forward. Schwarzenegger is just that one American actor that China likes to shoehorn into their movies (mostly as villains) to give them a tad more global appeal.
The Mystery of the Dragon Seal: Journey to Chinais a sequel to Stepchenko’s blockbuster Russian hit (it made about $40 million) Forbidden Empire, which is about a cartographer who sets out to map Transylvania and finds a cursed Romanian forest with probably vampires and shit. It has a kitschy Gothic look that’s endearing despite itself and includes the image below:
So that’s pretty cool.
Are chances good that with China onboard to help fund a big budget sequel, weird and gross imagery like this will still make the cut? I’m going to take a chance and say no. It sounds like they’re going more for adventure than horror, and honestly trying to figure out how you get from this to wide-reaching fantasy with Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger kind of makes my head spin.
There’s no trailer yet, despite The Mystery of the Dragon Seal: Journey to China hitting theaters in China and Russia just next month, on August 16. Even without any confirmed details for a wider European or American release of the film we’ll all find out exactly what to expect soon enough.
And you definitely want to wait to hear more before reaching any level of hype over this. Yes, Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger are two great tastes that will likely taste great together (they were apparently in Around the World in 80 Days together, but no one remembers that movie), though chances are good that they’ll be in all of twenty minutes of this thing. I’ve been burned numerous times on this front, watching movies where an actor is stapled into the story just over two minutes, shot in such a way that I question he was ever in the same room as anyone else. The disappointing reality is that folks, believe it or not, we can’t always trust film marketing.
That said, the poster (viewable below) does show Schwarzenegger rocking a pretty ridiculous mustache, so a little bit of excitement is forgivable.
This will undoubtedly hit the U.S. at some point, and yeah, I’ll probably watch it. I’ve got nothing better to do.