Now here’s a franchise you likely weren’t expecting to hear about today.
It’s being reported that a new movie in the Shanghai Noon series is breathing again at MGM—well over a decade after the last installment. Noon was released in the year 2000 while its sequel, Shanghai Knights, was released in 2003. This new title will be called Shanghai Dawn.
On top of that, original stars Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson have both entered into negotiations to reprise their roles for the trilogy-maker.
The original movie was an amalgamation of the western and kung-fu genres, with a buddy cop spin to it. In it Chan played a Chinese Imperial Guard in 19th century America named Chon Wang looking for a kidnapped princess (played by Lucy Liu), who ends up teaming with an unlikely companion in outlaw Roy O’Bannon (Wilson). In the sequel, Chan’s Chon character ends up re-teaming with Wilson’s O’Bannon on a mission to find who’s responsible for the murder of Chon’s father.
Details on the third movie are not known at the moment, but Jared Hess is set to direct the movie. Hess’s previous credits include writing and directing Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre, and Gentlemen Broncos. His latest directorial effort is the heist comedy Masterminds, which is set to be released later this month.
The screenplay was written by Aaron Buchsbaum and Theodore Riley, based on a story by the writers of the first two movies, Miles Millar and Alfred Gough.
Neither Shanghai Noon or Shanghai Knights did huge things at the box office, so making a third movie doesn’t necessarily make the most sense in the world. Noon made a little bit under $100 million worldwide on a $55 million budget, while Knights scored $88.3 million worldwide on a $50 million budget. But with 13 years having passed since the last movie and Chan and Wilson in talks to return, who knows. Perhaps it will surprise.
The news comes just after it was announced that Chan would be receiving an honorary Academy Award this year.