Fans of 1979’s Shaolin Temple, despair. In the spirit of Sylvester Stallone’s switch from the Rambo franchise to trying his hand at comedy with Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot, Jet Li has decided to throw his last roundhouse kick to the head. In a recent discussion with students at Shanghai’s Fudan University, the actor suggested that his upcoming film Fearless, the story of martial arts pioneer Huo Yuanjia (to be released next year), would be his final film in the genre.
Instead of violent flicks like Lethal Weapon 4, Li wants to make “more sensitive fare,” including “more philosophical, family-oriented movies.”
Li, 42, said he began taking a greater interest in spiritual matters in his mid-30s when he realized “it wasn’t enough to have a strong body, you had to have a strong soul.”
A practising Buddhist, Li said he now divides his time between charity work and show business.
Li said future projects could include another collaboration with French filmmaker Luc Besson, who wrote this summer’s Unleashed, in which Li starred alongside Morgan Freeman and Bob Hoskins, along with Li’s 2001 hit Kiss of the Dragon.
The article adds that Li was talking at Fudan as part of a lecture series organized by the Chinese Red Cross for the promotion of psychological health among students.
This is all very commendable: it’s just hoped that Li’s new direction won’t be as potentially damaging as spending 90 minutes in front of a Stallone comedy.