Did Jackie Chan Do His Own Stunts In 'Dragon Blade'? The Actor Is Known For His Crazy On-Screen Antics
The new film Dragon Blade (out Sept. 4) has yet to premiere in the U.S., but it's already a certified blockbuster. The film opened in its native China back in February in what was the 12th biggest opening weekend in the history of the country, netting $54.8 million off a budget of $65 million (a relatively small budget for a Hollywood film, but one of the largest ever for a movie made in China). The film tells the (somewhat) real life tale of of a missing legion of Roman soldiers who find themselves on the Silk Road in China during the Han Dynasty in the year 48 B.C. American actors John Cusack and Adrian Brody both play Roman generals in the film, but the movie's real star is Jackie Chan, who portrays a Chinese peacekeeper in the region. The movie is a big sword and sandals epic with a ton of fighting and action, all of which looks astoundingly realistic. So, did Jackie Chan do his own stunts in Dragon Blade ?
You better believe it. While the trend in American movies has steadily drifted away from the use of practical stunts in recent years (in movies not starring Tom Cruise, anyway), Chinese film studios have yet to embrace CGI in the way American producers have. "In Dragon Blade, all the action was shot on camera," Chan told The Boston Herald. "We shot in the real desert with 350 crew members, 800 extras and 200 horses. It was the most difficult shoot of my life. We didn’t use a green screen to create this like a Hollywood film; we went to the farthest reaches of China and endured severe hardship."
If you're familiar with Chan's past, the actor's statements should come as no surprise. He's internationally known for performing his own stunts, many of which have been extremely dangerous. Now 61, he may not be able to do as many stunts as he used to, but here's a look back at nine of Jackie Chan's craziest stunts from his career.
Crawling Across Hot Coals
Add CGI fire in post-production? Who does that? As soon as you see Chekov's hot coals during this fight scene in 1994's The Legend of the Drunken Master, you know that Chan's going to crawl all over them, and he does... with his bare hands.
Jumping Onto A Hot Air Balloon
Chan suffered his worst ever injury in Armour of God II when he jumped from a slope, landed on his head, and required brain surgery and a metal plate to get back on his feet, but he considers the accident to be from a run-of-the-mill stunt. A less-than-everyday occurrence happened in the first Armour of God, when Chan jumped out of a plane and landed on a hot air balloon. The film intercuts the scene with footage of Chan base jumping off a cliff, which would have to be the highest cliff in the universe considering how high he is in the scene.
Roller Skating Under A Truck
Who knew Chan was such a good skater? He dangerously avoids traffic on a pair of skates before dipping underneath a moving tractor trailer truck in the film Winners and Sinners. Clearly, he's a winner.
Snowboarding Onto A Helicopter
The Police Story series, a set of successful Hong Kong action films, feature some of Chan's most insane work. In this scene from 1996's Police Story: First Strike, Chan snowboards off of a ledge and clings to the ski of a helicopter. All real.
Riding A On Top Of A Bus
Jackie Chan has done several scenes involving stunts on top of a moving bus, but this one from the 2004 reboot New Police Story takes the cake for the most dangerous given the sheer amount of destruction Chan is dodging, and the fact that he was 50 years old while doing so.
Hanging From A Helicopter
Long before Tom Cruise was hanging off the side of a plane in this year's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Chan was swinging around on a rope ladder dangling from a helicopter in 1992's Police Story III: Supercop. Supercop, indeed.
Sliding Down An Electric Pole
The final entry from the Police Story series is also the craziest, from the original Police Story in 1985. In the scene, Chan slides down a metal pole in a mall, crashing through numerous electric bulbs along the way, and ends by crashing through a plate glass window. As a result, Chan dislocated his pelvis and received second degree burns from the bulbs, but it had to have been worth it, right? Skip ahead to 6:30 in the clip to get to the slide.
Sliding Down A Skyscraper
Electric poles are fun to slide down, but isn't it more fun to slide down 21 stories of a skyscraper with no safety net or harness? Chan apparently thought so when he did just that in Who Am I?
Falling Off A Building
On second thought, why slide down anything when you can straight up fall off a building? Chan endured what looks like his most painful stunt when he fell three stories, back first, and landed on his head in 1983's Project A. Remarkably, the guy would go on to have a career that spanned another three decades and counting.
In case it's not clear by now, Jackie Chan is the greatest actor of all time when it comes to stunts, and I for one can't wait to see what he has in store in Dragon Blade.