The movie Demolition Man (1993) pitted Sylvester Stallone against Wesley Snipes, but it could have been different if Jackie Chan had accepted the villain role.
Jackie Chan could have appeared in Demolition Man like the villain, in front of Sylvester Stallone, but the actor rejected the role. The criminal and murderous anarchist, Simon PhoenixHe was finally portrayed by Wesley Snipes and became one of the actor's most important characters in the early 1990s.
Demolition Man is a 1993 sci-fi film set in 2032, which tells the story of John Spartan (Stallone), a respected and capable policeman who tried in vain to save the hostages from his enemy, Simon Phoenix (Snipes). For all the destruction caused, both men are sentenced to cryogenic sleep. After Phoenix is released from contention and a crime wave begins in the future, Spartan wakes up to join the police force to stop him.
Although in hindsight, Snipes was the perfect candidate to play Simon Phoenix, he was not the only actor in mind for the role. At the suggestion of Sylvester Stallone, Jackie Chan was offered the opportunity. Who at this time was making Hong Kong action movies like Police Story and Twin Dragons. Chan turned down the role because he was unsure about starting his career in the United States as a villain.
For decades, he only played heroes, and even now, he associates the actor with good-natured characters.
It is true that Jackie Chan gave life to some villain, but only at the beginning of his career. In three movies from the early 1970s, the most notable being The Young Tiger, Chan played thugs who had to be defeated by the main hero. But over time he began to consider him the new Bruce Lee. So he had to be the protagonist and not an evil character like in Demolition Man. Also, that particular villain was very violent and ruthless, so there was no option for redemption either.
So Jackie Chan has created a very specific image for her movies. While some actors fear being pigeonholed, the martial arts icon has embraced fans' expectations of him by gravitating toward heroic roles that have a comedic flair.
Will it be in the sequel? They are currently working on Demolition Man 2. As the Simon Phoenix character died, they will need a new villain. Which means that Jackie Chan could have a new opportunity in this saga.
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