A scene from The Expendables 3 Photo: Courtesy of Le Vision Pictures
A crowd of people were crammed together, while a live band played music so loud that it felt like they were going to blow the roof off the ballroom of this Beijing hotel. This was the scene Friday at the promotional event for upcoming action blockbuster The Expendables 3
, attended by one of the film's lead actors Jason Statham in his first visit to the Chinese mainland.
Watching Michael Bay easily grab nearly 2 billion yuan ($300 million) with his weakly-plotted high-tech movie set partly in China, old-school action franchise The Expendables
is following the trend of focusing on the Chinese market by sending Jason Statham, instead of Jet Li, who is already a house-hold name in China, to the press.
Statham, who apparently didn't expect the high attention the film was getting from nearly every leading media outlet in China and enthusiastic fans, expressed an interest in shooting an action film for Chinese audiences.
Thirteen years ago Statham worked with Shu Qi and Hong Kong director Corey Yuen on action film The Transporter
. "We shared a lot of interests and tastes in films. I had this idea, but for years I still haven't fulfilled it... The key is finding the right project with the right person."
Zhang Zhao, CEO of Le Vision Pictures and one of the producers for The Expendables 2 & 3
, announced that Le Vision Pictures will work with Jason to create "an action movie only for Chinese audiences [sic]."
Talking about the upcoming film, which is set to hit theaters in US and Canada on August 15, Zhang said he is confident that the third film will perform better than previous installments. "Transformers is a great movie, but only visually, not emotionally. Our film has 16 first-class action stars from Stallone to Mel Gibson. This has got to be the greatest cast in the history of Hollywood action movies," said Zhang.
Not only Gibson, but veteran actor Harrison Ford has joined the film. In it, Stallone and Statham, as well as the rest of the team members goup against Gibson, whose character co-founded the team with Stallone years ago. "It's a movie driven by action and with many comedic moments and humorous dialog," Statham said.
It is still unknown when the movie will hit theaters in the mainland.