Worst Kept Secret (Spoiler Warning)

Filming at a major holiday destination is not conducive to keeping things under wraps.

It’s been one of the worst-kept secrets in Dubai. We’ve known Jackie Chan was heading to the city to shoot his latest movie, Kung Fu Yoga, for more a month, and on Sunday Dubai Film and TV Commission finally confirmed it.

The 61-year-old martial arts star arrived in the country about a week ago but there was no word on the locations that would be used. Dubai Film and Television Commission vaguely alluded to some “landmarks” featuring in key scenes, while insiders hinted at a car chase on The Boulevard.

Other than that, details have been kept tightly under wraps – unless you are staying at the Atlantis The Palm Resort. A letter distributed to guests at the weekend said: “We are very excited to be taking part in the filming of an epic new Kung Fu movie set for release in 2016. We would therefore like to warn you that filming will take place throughout the resort from September 28 to October 2015.

“Whilst the majority of the resort will be unaffected, we have put in place a number of temporary measures in order to minimise the disruption to your Atlantis experience. We thank you for your patience and we invite you to take this opportunity to watch filming take place.”

The letter ended with: “Please do not be alarmed during the Kung Fu fight scenes as this is part of the production.”

Perhaps management were reminded of the immortal words of Carl Douglas, who famously noted in his song Kung Fu Fighting: “Those kicks were fast as lightning. In fact, it was a little bit frightening.”

On Monday afternoon, Chan and the movie’s cast and crew, armed with an array of boom mics, lights and cameras, were in Atlantis filming in a roped-off, heavily secured area in front of the hotel’s iconic East Tower aquarium.

The crew was clearly trying to operate in as subtle a manner as a full-scale film production with an international superstar can – which isn’t very. About 30-40 technical crew members, a mix of Chinese workers and others from the UAE industry, mingled while wardrobe assistants wheeled rails of clothes (mostly shirts and suits) around the set.

A group of seven extras sat by a wall waiting for their moment in the limelight, while Chan, chatted amiably with cast and crew in a manner befitting a man who has steadfastly refused to play villains throughout his career.

It’s a common tactic for big movies to use pseudonyms or aliases to fool the public, and on this occasion notices advised passers-by of a promotional shoot for [Atlantis parent company] Kerzner International, avoiding any mention of Chan, the movie or even local producers Alkatraz Productions.

Rarely have so many “no photography” signs been seen in one place. They were on walls, on crowd barriers, on T-shirts and on high-visibility vests. Some of the crew even had sheets of A4 paper with the words “no camera” printed on them pinned them to their clothes, and the abundant security personnel were taking the rule very seriously indeed.

It seems the part of the memo about guests being welcome to watch filming hadn’t been shared with the guards – passers-by who dawdled too long were ushered into a lift in an adjacent corridor, or back in the direction from whence they had come, even though much of the filming took place behind a screen. Even without the screen getting a decent view through the massed ranks of film crew, security and equipment was no easy task.

We spent two days keeping tabs on the filming, and while the far from ideal conditions didn’t allow us to gather too much in the way of plot spoilers, here’s what we do know.

There will be a major fight in front of the aquarium, featuring Chan, his adversaries and a small briefcase that seems to be the cause of the dispute. The complex scene took hours to film and resulted in a spontaneous round of applause on the set when it finally wrapped.

Chan ends up with the briefcase, and attempts to pass it on to an unknown female co-star. Katrina Kaif, who was rumoured to have a role in the movie, has been removed from its IMDB listing and is filming Baar Baar Dekho in Glasgow, Scotland.

The characters then make their way down the East Tower corridor to the lobby, where a second crew had set up a huge camera jib, so expect some sweeping aerial shots of the fountain and cast.

As for the resort guests caught up in the filming, few seemed to be overawed by the star in their midst or impressed that a major film was being made in the vicinity.

Filipina Jennifer was more annoyed that she couldn’t get through a security cordon to meet her friend.

And a British guest told us: “It doesn’t really look like my sort of film. But my son-in-law’s a huge Jackie Chan fan so he’ll be pleased when we get home.”

Although a few youngsters had heard that Chan was around and tried – unsuccessfully – to snap shots of their hero, the response of most people was best described as mild intrigue.


Interview For "Who Am I"

Japanese interview conducted in English to promote "Who Am I?"


Quick Before It Disappears

Jackie and Jaycee in Tetsuwan DASH - a Japanese game show. They are aggressive about taking down videos on Youtube so watch it while you can.


Jackie's Message of Support

On 14 June 2008 the Montreal Chinese Hospital held its 19th Annual Masquerade Ball at the Chalet Du Mont Royal. Jackie sent a message of support via video.


Chigo Aircon Photoshoot

Jackie recently did a photoshoot with Kean Millar for Chigo Airconditioners. Kean wrote about the experience on his blog (link below) and said that Jackie was happy to speak to him in French, that his skill with the language was 'responsive'. He said that although everyone calls Jackie 'Da Ge' out of respect, Jackie was happy to be called 'Jackie' and in fact liked it when people did. He also said that Jackie was intelligent, approachable, full of positive energy and amusing.


Video: Through Thick and Thin

Jackie recorded this song (Lyrics) in 2010 in support of the victims of the Gansu Mudslide on 8 August 2010. He also sang it live at the Opening Ceremony of Gansu Week at the Shanghai Expo.


Video: Jackie's Live Performance of Homeland

Jackie sings "Homeland" live at the CCTV6 concert to launch the War Movie Month last month. LYRICS


Silk Road Film Festival

The Silk Road Film Festival held its closing ceremony on 26 September 2015. Jackie was one of the invited guests at the ceremony, and sang "Desert Hero" from Dragon Blade. During the interview on the red carpet Jackie revealed that he was flying to Dubai with Zhang Guoli for 6 days to film Kung Fu Yoga before starting Railroad Tigers. Railroad Tigers should be wrapped by the end of December. Jackie said that he would then film the adaptation of "The Chinaman" in January. He revealed that he was in negotiations to film a movie about Zheng He, late 2016 or early 2017. Jackie ended by wishing success for the Silk Road Film Festival.


19th Annual "Beijing Screenings" Closing Ceremony

The "Beijing Screenings" is run concurrently with the "Silk Road Film Festival". Films that represent the highest level of Chinese film that also achieved international success are shown. The films chosen this year were "The Return of the Monkey King", "Dragon Blade", "Wolf Totem", "Monster Hunt" and others. The closing ceremony for the 19th Annual Beijing Screenings was held tonight in Fuzhou, China. Jackie was recognised for his "Special Contribution to the International Communication of Chinese Cinema".

In his acceptance speech Jackie said that this award did not belong to him personally, that it took 54 years of work in film from child actor to now, that was not easy. Jackie said that the credit did not just belong to him, but to the entire film industry. Jackie then invited all the award winners on stage to give positive energy to Chinese film.

Jackie arrives in Fuzhou

Acceptance speech

All the award winners on stage together


On Their Way

JC Stunt Team members at Beijing Airport on their way to Dubai for Kung Fu Yoga.


Dragon Blade Released in Japan

Dragon Blade has been released in cinemas in Japan.


Transcript of CHIGO Conference

Transcript of Jackie's 'interview' at the CHIGO conference yesterday.

The interesting part is where Jackie says that he is busy with "Kung Fu Yoga", about to make "Railroad Tigers" and will make the untitled-but-used-to-be-called-the foreigner adaptation of Stephen Leather's "The Chinaman" just after Christmas. (highlighted in bold in text below)





































Dinner with George Osborne

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, is on a state visit to China to foster closer ties between the UK and China. Last night there was a dinner for people in arts and culture with the British Ambassador to China, Barbara Woodward, and George Osborne. Jackie was one of the invited guests. Among the other guests was Jack Gao (Gao Entertainment) and Lin Han (PR Consultant, Founder of M. Woods Museum Beijing).

George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer), Barbara Woodward (British Ambassador to China) and Jackie Chan

Jack Gao and Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan and Lin Han (right)


Chigo Airconditioners Conference

CHIGO Airconditioners held a their "Annual Conference for Global Dealers" in Guangzhou today. Jackie Chan, the offical brand ambassador, attended the event. Li Xinghai (CEO and Chairman of the Board) said that Jackie Chan is a dreamer, full of emotion and enthusiasm; that he admired Jackie as a responsible man of principle who was prepared to make sacrifices for the sake of the goal. Li Xinghai called Jackie a real perfectionist who always remains stubborn and inflexible, and always follows his own way.