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Jackie Chan Never Wanted to Star in 1985 Movie That Became $11M Success Only When He Directed His Version of the Story after Clashing With the Director

jackie chan

Jackie Chan remains one of the most prolific action stars both in Asia and America. His popularity reached the international level, a major feat for Asians in the entertainment industry. Throughout his career, the actor has done several projects that truly carved his name in the hall of fame.

Jackie Chan The Protector
Jackie Chan in The Protector

His portfolio of films usually gravitates toward action comedy with a hint of drama. While the actor prefers working on projects that the whole family can enjoy, there is but one movie that he notably dislikes.

RELATED: Jackie Chan Despised Chris Tucker for Improvising His Lines in ‘Rush Hour’ as He Remembered His Lines Based on Tucker’s Last Sentence

Jackie Chan Made His Own The Protector Movie Because The Original Was Too Explicit

The Protector (1985), directed by James Glickenhaus, was infamously known for its hard-R theme with nudity and obscene language – a far cry from Jackie Chan’s funny action movies. The lead star expressed his distaste for the result multiple times that he created his own version.

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The actor removed all explicit words and trimmed parts that contained nudity. He also filmed new scenes and re-edited them, adding his own touch of quirkiness and fun. Later on, the movie found itself with two official versions, the US and Hong Kong releases, under the same title.

The feeling was mutual, as Glickenhaus never wanted to helm a Jackie Chan movie. The actor was still attached to the production company Golden Harvest so he had no choice but to accept the job.

Jackie Chan The Protector 2
Jackie Chan in The Protector

Speaking with Flashback Files, Glickenhaus revealed his disinterest in the project:


I never wanted to make a Jackie Chan movie. I had no interest in it. And I told both him and Golden Harvest that if that was what they wanted, then I wasn’t going to do it. The only way I was going to do it, is when I had total creative control and final cut of the movie. And they agreed. I think Jackie agreed but he didn’t understand what he was agreeing to!

Although Chan was already famous in Asia that time, he could not reach the global level. The Protector was not entirely a massive success and only did so little to promote the actor’s talent. However, the controversy that surrounded The Protector worked wonders for Chan’s career. He was so frustrated with the project that it became a motivation for his next film, Police Story, which earned critical success.

This endeavor gave him the opportunity to land a role in a Western movie, the famous Rush Hour film series. It proved that Chan knows himself well and what suits him best as an actor and artist, and this became his leverage in finding his niche in the movie industry.

RELATED: “Only actor with no haters”: Jackie Chan Replaces Keanu Reeves as Internet’s New Heartthrob as Fans Brand Him a ‘Gentle God of Humility’

James Glickenhaus’ The Protector Will Never Fit Jackie Chan’s Style

Jackie Chan The Protector 3
Jackie Chan in The Protector

Looking at Jackie Chan’s roster of films over the decades, The Protector stands out as the most off-tangent project that does not align with the action star’s style. The director shared in the same interview that Chan is used to people following what he wants, and he was surprised when he found out Glickenhaus has a different concept in mind.

Both the filmmaker and the company agreed to The Karate Kid actor’s wish to re-do the film, only “make sure people understand that’s his version, not mine.”

The Protector is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Source: Flashback Files

RELATED: Jackie Chan Planned to Become Bigger Than $600M Rich Tom Cruise, Wanted to Be Seen as More Than an “Action Star”


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Written by Ariane

Ariane, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.