Action superstar Jackie Chan, notable Hollywood actors Adrien Brody, John Cusack, Hallyu star Choi Siwon from popular K-pop boyband Super Junior and Chinese actresses Mika Wang and Lin Peng were in Singapore from the 9th to 11th February 2015 to promote their new historical action movie, Dragon Blade.
Dragon Blade is Jackie Chan’s latest film after 7 years of preparation. It is helmed by 14 Blades’ director Daniel Lee, based on true historical events, where Hou An (Jackie Chan), the Commander of the Silk Road Protection squad together with his group on men tries to protect the peace on Silk Road among 36 nations in the region. Together with Yin Po (Choi Siwon), Hou An’s trustable subordinate, they safeguard China’s borders. Hou An was later framed for treason where he was exiled to Wild Geese Gate. There, he encountered Lucius (John Cusack) a Roman general tasked to protect the young Roman prince, Publius (Jozef Waite) from his power-hungry older brother Tiberius (Adrien Brody).
During the press conference held in the morning on 10th of February at Pan Pacific Hotel, Jackie assured audiences that if they liked his past productions, Dragon Blade will not disappoint. This production is said to be one of the most expensive Chinese film produced to date, with a budget of US$65 million. Jackie also shared that it was shot at Dunhuang and the Gobi Desert mainly for its dramatic natural backdrop, for a total of 112 days. 800 extras, 350 crew members, 200 horses were involved in the filming and 2,000 bottles of water (excluding other drinks such as coffee and tea) were consumed over a span of five days; showing the weather intensity of the filming location.
“Many people like to watch movies like Iron Man, Batman and Spiderman, but I want to preserve my traditional way of filming martial arts, with as little CGI as possible, keeping it all real”, Jackie shared. He also assured audiences that not a single scene in the movie was bought.
Both Hollywood actors claimed to be ardent fans of Jackie Chan since they were kids and have had desires to work with Jackie in an action movie which was their childhood dream. They have also mentioned that to them, working with Jackie is like reaching the peak in the area of action movies.
Action was an essential part of the movie, K-pop star and Super Junior’s member, Siwon shared that comparing dancing and singing to fighting in an action movie, both tasks are difficult but he will do his best. It was also an honour for him to receive personal martial arts coaching from Jackie Chan himself.
Chinese actress Mika Wang, who plays Hou An’s wife Xiuqing, is very honoured to be part of Dragon Blade and she has learnt a lot from Jackie not only in terms of acting but also about life. Another Chinese actress Lin Peng, plays the role of Huns warrior Cold Moon who is a skilled fighter. Lin Peng shared that during the filming; she sustained numerous injuries and was under a lot of stress due to the Jackie’s high standards for the quality of martial arts in the film.
Jackie also acclaimed much credit to the production crew and support staff that had to wake up at 2:30am everyday working even harder than the casts. The huge difference in temperature in day and night made it even tougher to film in the Gobi desert while wearing heavy costumes. The casts also shared that they had to film in adverse conditions such as sandstorms; “due to weather constraints, sometimes we were only able to film 2 scenes in one day” Jackie said. Casts joked that the Gobi desert would be a place where women will love since they will be able to “exfoliate their skin” and “return looking prettier”.
It was also mentioned that during the production of Dragon Blade, Jackie had the responsibility of taking care of a large number of staff such as his students, extras from many different countries and casts, teaching them the basics as well as making sure they felt comfortable while filming in China. It was definitely evident that Jackie takes good care of his casts not only during the harsh conditions at the movie filming but also from simple gestures such as topping up their water during the press conference.
Jackie also shared that he wishes this movie could be played all over the world especially in current times of war and unrest as the most important message from the movie is Peace, to live for peace and turn enemies into friends.
After press conference earlier in the day, the casts also met fans and audiences at NEX mall for a meet and greet event followed by gracing the red carpet at Vivo City Golden Village before attending the Gala Premiere in different cinema halls. Both events drew an astonishing crowd, showing the tremendous success of the events.
Dragon Blade, co-distributed by Encore Films and Golden Village Pictures in Singapore will be released on 19 February 2015. In 2 months, it will be Jackie Chan’s 54th year in the movie industry; we wish Dragon Blade all the best!
At Korean Updates, we would like to extend our many thanks to Encore Films for the media invitation. Do head on to our Facebook page for more pictures from the event and do follow our Twitter for more updates about your favourite K-pop stars!
Article by: Jia. Photos by: Zen and Jia (Singapore)