A Sequel to a Resurrected Bruce Lee Movie Jackie Chan’s acting career in the 1970s. Years before becoming one of kung fu cinema’s biggest stars, Chan had his fair share of struggles in his attempts to make a name for himself. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that Chan’s career really took off in Hong Kong.


Long before securing his reputation as Hong Kong’s greatest martial arts actor, Chan was a stuntman who worked for Golden Harvest, the studio that made the Bruce Lee films. After doing stunt work and acting as extras in more than a dozen movies in the early 1970s (including Lee’s Enter the dragon), Chan made the transition to becoming a lead actor. He starred in a movie called Cantonese Little Tiger and also landed the lead role in John Woo hand of death of movie. However, Chan was still far from being a star at this point in his life.

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In his autobiography, Never grow upChan explained that his career took a huge hit with hand of death, which did not do well at the box office. He claimed the industry was still “lameness” after Lee’s death in 1973 and Golden Harvest was forced to cancel many of his upcoming films. Feeling “completely defeatedDue to the lack of acting opportunities in his future, Chan got a job as a construction worker. That same year, things took a turn for Chan when he was tapped to play the lead role in New Fist of Fury. Marketed as a sequel to Bruce Lee’s second kung fu film, 1971 fist of furythe film was directed by Lo Wei, the director behind the original film.


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Five years after realizing fist of fury, Lo Wei decided to revisit the film by bringing back much of the cast and crew, including the female lead, Nora Miao. Since Lee’s character, Chen Zhen, died at the end of the original film, Lo was able to focus on a new martial arts hero that Chan was cast as. Although Chan wasn’t playing Chen Zhen, the plan was still for him to be a Bruce Lee-esque character, who utilized the late actor’s fighting style. He also embarked on a patriotic journey similar to the one Chen Zhen was sent to fist of fury.

Of course, it took more than a sequel to a Bruce Lee classic to make Jackie Chan a star. But, making the film revived his career and at least put him on the path to stardom in Hong Kong. For some time, Golden Harvest continued this New Fist of Fury began by working to make Chan the next Bruce Lee. However, none of the films he made with this formula took off as they had hoped. It’s only Drunken Master and Serpent in the shadow of the eagle, both released in 1978, that Chan finally found his groove as an actor. In the end, ditching the Bruce Lee image and taking a more comedic approach to his acting style was what his movies really needed.