Legendary Chan Dragon (Jackie Chan 成龙) is regarded by
many as the current reigning Kung Fu King of the silver
screen. Sadly, His Majesty is now half a century plus two
years old, so a decision to select his successor was officially
announced in Beijing last Friday, December 29, 2006.
The move shall not be read as the indication that the
King is about to abdicate his throne in a near future,
said the board of the selection, the Beijing TV station. "I
still have lots of movies to produce," the Majesty
proclaimed. Which means his successor will have to wait
patiently in the wings. Nothing wrong with that. Charles
was made the successor to Queen Elizabeth II long before
half of the population on the planet were born, and the
Queen is still going, going, going, going … not gone.
Our king has a son actually. But unlike all other kings
or queens, this king has decided not to make the royalty
a family business, 'cause he's a firm believer that raising
a good successor to the throne is a very important thing.
It’s not that his son isn’t good. He is good and has been
showing punches and kicks on the screens lately. But the
king wants the best man for the job, not just a good man,
In ancient times, Chinese sage kings like Yao (尧) and
Shun (舜) used to select their successors by virtue. But
this noble tradition was replaced by a backward new fashion,
inheriting through bloodlines, in the next five thousand
years or so. Now Jackie Chan is determined to go back to
the forward old way.
It is reported that the board has already begun to accept
registration by candidates. The basic criteria requirements
include that the candidates must be aged between 18 and
28, capable of driving a car or motorbike at the speed
of a bullet, jumping from the rooftop of a skyscraper,
doing martial feats such as highflying kicking, dizzying
spining, mindless twisting, siderolling, backfliping, and
then able to not be themselves, for instance, laughing
while feeling sad, bemoaning while feeling happy…… and
much more, much much more …… more ……
The final contest will be held on the Great Wall, said
the board, and the ten winners will then be awarded with
the opportunities to play leading roles in Jackie Chan’s
new film "The Inheritors of the China Dragon" that
is planned to be screened for the occasion of the Beijing
Among the ten, one that is the best will be crowned, or
more precisely, ringed as the successor to the King with
a jade ring Jackie Chan inherited from his mother.
It is a long journey for a construction worker in Australia
to grow into an international Kung Fu Lord. Thirty years
ago, when Jackie Chan first started his acting career,
he was scoffed at by an author as unfit to play his hero
for the sin of having an unproportionally large nose. And
he was also ridiculed by some leading actresses who co-starred
with him. "You've got to be kidding," they would
complain to the directors. "How on earth would I love
a man with such small eyes?" Cruel comments as those
often sent Jackie Chan weeping alone in toilet.
But he who laughs last, laughs best. Jackie Chan has finally
risen to a lordly height, while many other stars have long
faded from the scene. Long live the King!