“I’ve been very fortunate that my recent films have all been hits in China,” Chan told Business Insider via email. “Audiences are willing to take a risk on me, knowing that I’ll give them something different every time.”
Chan takes the blame for the long delay; he says he had to find an opening in his schedule to take on “Dragon Blade.” But he points out that if it wasn’t for the delay, they likely wouldn’t have gotten Brody as his co-star.
“One day I got a message, out of the blue, from Adrien Brody asking if we will ever have the chance to work together,” Chan recalled. “I told him I was preparing to make this movie and that we could work together right away. I sent him the synopsis in the morning and got a call that night agreeing to work together. It was fate.”
Chan complimented Brody’s dedication to training for the fight sequences. The Oscar winner asked Chan for videos of sword fighting so he could practice the techniques with a broom before he arrived in China.
Cusack, however, needed a little more work.
“John is really good at kickboxing but not very experienced with weapons,” wrote Chan, who said he had to teach Cusack from scratch how to use the swords and knives his character handles in the film.
Though Chan added, “When it comes to acting, there isn’t anything I can teach him.”
Chan said the greatest challenge when making “Dragon Blade” was the setting. Shot in the Gobi Desert, the heat and sandstorms took a toll on everyone. “Just keeping your eyes open during the fighting scenes was painful,” said Chan, who during the sandstorms assisted in keeping the horses calm.