A star of martial arts films whose notoriety exploded in the 90s, Jet Li was courted to appear in the cast of “Matrix Reloaded” and “Matrix Revolutions”. But the actor declined the offer. For which motive ?
Revealed at the end of the 1980s, Jet Li’s career exploded the following decade, notably with his participation in the series Once Upon a Time in China by Tsui Hark. Adored as much for his impressive fighting technique as for his acting, he was then coveted by Hollywood and his participation in Lethal Weapon 4 opened the doors of the major American studios to him.
In this logic, the actor was precisely contacted to play a role in Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions. In this case to embody Seraph, the bodyguard of the Oracle. But the martial arts star declined the offer.
“I understood that the Americans wanted to film me for three months and for me to be with the team for nine months. And for six months they wanted to film all my movements and copy them into a digital library. At the end of the recording, the rights to these recordings would have belonged to them” said Jet Li in an interview in 2018.
Adding: “I thought to myself, I’ve been training my whole life. We martial artists can only get better as we get older. And they could have owned my every move. I told them I couldn’t.” Jet Li therefore gave way to Taiwanese comedian Collin Chou.