China Chiristian Daily

- January 19, 2018 -

Culture

Here's What You Should Know About Director of 'Wolf Warrior 2, China's Highest-Grossing Film of All Time

By M. Grace
on December 12, 2017 04:12 AM

wolf-warriors-2
Wolf Warriors 2: (credit: Movie poster)

"You only saw the thief eating, but you did not see him getting beat up."

This is a famous Chinese idiom which means 'no reward comes without hard labor.' Applied to "Wolf Warrior 2" which has grossed more than $850 million in China and made it as the highest-grossing movie of all time: that is really a lot of hard work and labor.

Wu Jing, the director of the movie began training wushu martial arts in Beijing at the age of 6. Wu, who is 43 years old now, kept the plaque he received in the mid-1800s from the Xianfeng Emperor for the training and combat he went through in the Qing dynasty's Eight Banners military.

Wu said he did not dream of the success he is having today. Although he is known for being an athlete on Beijing Wushu Team, unlike his alumni Jet li and Donnie Yen, he thought that "movies seemed too distant" for him and that he simply could not imagine it.

"I didn't know how to do stage combat, and the dramatic scenes were terrifying," he said, telling the story of how Yuen Woo-ping spotted him as a stunt double but ended up casting him as the lead. "It was fun."

"At that time, the trend in Greater China was androgyny," he said, adding that he just appeared in two movies over the next eight years. "My management told me to be refined, to wear very tight clothes, to watch what I say. It's very far from who I am."

"I felt like I was in a straitjacket, and I wanted to tear it off," Wu recalled. "I'm the kind of person where the more you push me, the more I rebel."

"If you said 'tough guy' in China, everyone thought of Bruce Willis.Stallone. Schwarzenegger. Tom Cruise," he added. "But why couldn't China have one?" Financiers then told him local audiences wouldn't be receptive. "I thought, 'That's a pity, because I happen to be that kind of guy.' "

So, Wu decided to take things into his own hands but no one would risk. His wife, TV host Xie Nan encouraged him to try his best and said:"If you don't try your best at this, your whole life you'll never be satisfied. So go ahead."

Making the story short, Wu finally made it bigger. Right now, he is rumored to be collaborating with Vin Diesel.

"We have something very special coming for you that is rooted in brotherhood, and we're very proud to be able to work with each other," Diesel said alongside a grinning Wu in an Oct. 18 Facebook video. "So the world, I want you to say hello to my friend."

"I came to [L.A.] to learn Hollywood's first-class techniques and talent," he said, believing that he and others from China still have a lot to learn from the American filming industry. "I can't make art films, but everyone understands action movies, which can express Chinese culture and Western culture and promote mutual understanding of our similarities and differences. And to have the audience enjoy it too: That's my mission."

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