Monks from the real Shaolin Temple show off their skills
Actor Jet Li has hit the headlines this week because he has broken the record for the highest salary earned by a Chinese film star. China’s highest-earning star will receive 100m yuan (£6.5 million) for his latest movie, 'The Warlords (投名状)'.
The film, directed by Peter Chan is a martial arts drama, telling the story of three brothers) who turn against one another over a beautiful woman. It is set in the 1860s, during the Taiping Rebellion. The other two brothers are played by Andy Lau, and Takeshi Kaneshiro.
As a teenager, Jet Li was a Wushu champion, and won many medals for his martial arts. His fame from martial arts led to his film debut in 1982 in 'Shaolin Temple', having acquired the screen name Jet Li as a change from his real name Li Lianjie.
He has an extensive filmography of Chinese and Hong Kong cinema, including the famous series of films 'Once upon a time in China', about the legendary hero Wong Fei Hung.
However, Jet Li has also in the last 10 years become a Hollywood star, in films such as 'Lethal Weapon 4', 'The Kiss of the dragon', 'Romeo must die', 'The One' and 'Hero'.
Next year his film catalogue will increase again, with his next two films both coming out in 2008. One is the second sequel to The Mummy – 'The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor'. The other, 'The Forbidden Kingdom' will see Jet Li teaming up with the renowned kung-fu and film star Jackie Chan.
'The Warlords' will be released across Asia on 13th December, and hopefully we’ll see it in Britain next year. Although Jet Li has now sworn off doing any more Wushu epics, I'm sure we'll continue to see his work in Chinese and Hollywood films in years to come.