Chinese Kung Fu star Jet Li may have to appear in a Chinese court next month after his name was added to the list of those being sued over his latest movie Fearless.
Kung Fu star Jet Li, seen here 06 January 2006, said his latest film "Fearless", which is opening in Beijing, would his last foray into the martial arts genre. [AFP]
The film is a biography of a real Chinese Kung Fu hero, Huo Yuanjia, which is the name of the movie in Chinese. Huo who died 96 years ago is still revered in China and the rest of Asia.
The movie has annoyed descendants of Huo's family, who are upset that the film's plot sullies the reputation of the revered Kung Fu master and his offspring. Huo Shoujin, the grandson of Huo Yuanjia's, wants Fearless removed from theatres and a publicly apologize from the producers.
Lawyer Yang Zhonghai, hired by Huo's family in Tianjin, said Jet Li's name was added to the suit as the action star not only played the lead role but participated in the making and production of the movie.
Li's has said Fearless will be his last fight-movie ending a 25-year long martial arts career. The film is poised for a wide release in North America later this year.
Li has been widely quoted in the Chinese media saying his role as Huo Yuanjia (1869-1910) was meant to pay homage to the martial arts master. Huo was the founder and spiritual leader of the Jing Wu Federation, a Kung Fu organization in the early 1900s in China.
The the movie attempts to express his views on martial arts, Chinese culture and life. The movie was a blockbuster when released last January in Asia, Li said.
Huo, the grandson, contends that the film is completely inaccurate. It portrays his ancestor as a man who killed many innocent people just for the sport of it. It also shows Huo's redemption and eventual self-fulfillment comes to him through his unrequited love for a blind girl.
The film shows Huo's family being murdered and that he died without leaving heirs, which could make people today suspicious of his family's claim to be direct descendants, claims the family's lawyer.
Huo Shoujin sued on March 7 Fearless producers, Beijing Film Studio and Anle Film Co., Ltd. in Beijing's western Haidian District Court for maligning the reputation of his family.