It would have been a lot more different if Jackie Chan had played the role of the protagonist in Everything Everywhere All at Once. The Duo Daniels’ (aka Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) Oscar-winning film Everything Everywhere All at Once has been hailed as one of the greatest movies of the past year. It’s a wildly delightful ride that is filled with action, emotion, and an intimate drama about a woman who is on the verge of getting divorced and dwelling on the road never taken.
Most of the movies that we watch as an audience are either having fun or getting hit hard on the chords of our feelings. However, Everything Everywhere All at Once doesn’t go by those rules, it manages to keep everything intact which makes the audiences go gaga over it. But even though the film got all the praise post-release, it did anger the audiences when they learned about Jackie Chan turning down the film.
Jackie Chan was the first choice for Everything Everywhere All at Once
It is known to many that Jackie Chan was the first choice among the directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, but things didn’t go as planned, and Michelle Yeoh replaced the 69-year-old Martial arts superstar. Later, Michelle Yeoh thanked Jackie Chan for turning it down as she was grateful for being a part of such great thinking.
In a recent interview with CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour, Michelle Yeoh revealed that her character was written by keeping Jackie Chan on the mind and she was supposed to play the role of the wife of the 69-year-old actor. The Everything Everywhere All at Once protagonist also further said that she would be always thankful to both the directors of the film.
During an Interview with The Guardian, Michelle Yeoh revealed that “Jackie actually texted me,” she further added. “And he says: ‘Wow, I hear amazing things about your movie. Did you know that the boys came to see me in China?’ And I said: ‘Yes, your loss, my bro!”. Kwan and Scheinert have always been open about their willingness to cast Jackie Chan as the protagonist, but they did mention in an interview that the film upgraded by a big margin once they accepted flipping the genders of the protagonist.
Read More: “Why don’t you have more Chinese, and Japanese?”: Michelle Yeoh Demanded $32M Cillian Murphy Movie Gender-Swap Role for Her Before Replacing Jackie Chan in Everything Everywhere All at Once
Everything Everywhere All at Once wouldn’t have worked without LGBTQ+ plotline
The directors took the risk of keeping Joy’s sexuality uncut even if it meant getting banned in China. Except few Middle Eastern countries, LGBTQ+ scenes in the movie weren’t at all considered objectionable , so Everything Everywhere All at Once enjoyed a remarkable success.
The actor Stephanie Hsu plays the role of Joy, the daughter of Evelyn, played by Michelle Yeoh. In the story, it has been shown that Joy brings her girlfriend into their house to come out to her family only to get shut out by her mother, Evelyn. It hurts Joy to see her mother like that, but she ingests the emotions to maintain peace.
The directors of the film defended the importance of keeping the uncut scene of Joy by saying that,
“It’s not up to us if the movie is released in China, but all we said was that you can’t cut the gay storyline. That’s all we’ve said to foreign distribution people. […] If they had to censor other stuff, and we got a gay story out there, we’d be so thrilled.”
Even Kwan agreed to it and stated that the film can’t work without it as the scene of Joy is the celebration of queer and that also in Asian families. It was a milestone moment in the world of movies that the Director of Everything Everywhere All at Once achieved.