Monday, November 7, 2016

'John Wick' Director Teams Up With Iko Uwais, Tony Jaa, And Tiger Chen

Stunt-performer-turned-director Chad Stahelski (with partner in crime David Leitch) turned in one of the best modern action movies with John Wick, and I’m understandably pretty jazzed about John Wick: Chapter 2. Stahelski tackled the sequel solo (while Leitch helms the upcoming spy thriller The Coldest City), but that’s not all he has on his plate. He’ll direct a movie called Triple Threat, which just so happens to star three of the preeminent movie badasses of the moment: Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, and Tiger Chen.

THR first reported this mega team up, which is like something plucked straight from my wildest imagination. Working from a script by Dwayne Smith (Free Fall), and co-directed by Wang Xiaolie, Triple Threat follows a Chinese martial artist who travels to Mexico to rescue his ex-wife and son who have been kidnapped by a vicious drug cartel. Not the most original set up, but one rife with potential for face kicking and other assorted action.

If Triple Threat sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. A few months back, news of a movie called Makeshift Squad broke. Billing itself as the Asian Expendables, this project also starred Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, and Tiger Chen (along with Angelababy). There weren’t any addition details about that project, other than Gary Mak was going to direct. That said, these sound like different projects, so it remains to be seen whether or not Triple Threat and Makeshift Squad are two different movies.

I certainly hope that we have multiple Tony Jaa/Iko Uwais/Tiger Chen movies on the way. I can’t imagine what we, as a collective human race, did to deserve such cinematic blessings, but I will take them, every one. And if these three want to keep making movies together, I’ll watch those, too.

There’s no word on when Triple Threat might film, but it’s being shopped around the American Film Market, so hopefully before long. In the meantime, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to see these players in action. Chad Stahelski’s solo John Wick: Chapter 2 opens February 10, 2016; Tony Jaa pops up with Vin Diesel in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage; and Iko Uwais teamed up with the Mo Brothers for Headshot, which makes me salivate just thinking about it. Though he’s the least known of the team, after fronting Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, Tiger Chen should be fighting his way to the forefront of action fans’ minds.

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