CATEGORIES Foreign Language, Romance, Casting, Deals, Box Office, War, Movie News, UK Box Office, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeWhen you hear about big, multi-million dollar actor paychecks, ones which take up a good portion of a film's budget, it's usually a North American production. Not in this case. Reuters has reported that Jet Li, the it-man behind films from Romeo Must Die to Fearless, is getting one sweet paycheck for one of his most recent films. He is making 100 million yuan ($13 million) for Warlords -- close to half of the budget for the film. This record-breaking pay continues to keep him as the highest-paid actor in a Chinese-language film, a spot he had already held for earning 70 million yuan for his role in Hero.
Director Peter Chan (Perhaps Love) is quoted as saying: "Without Jet Li, we would not dare to invest $40 million in a Chinese-language film." He went on to say that Li was a "guarantee" for global sales. I would hope so, because that's a big chunk of change that they are investing on that belief. They say about half of the budget went to the cast, and since Li has $13 million, that still leaves about $7 million for the rest of the cast -- House of Flying Daggers stars Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro, as well as actress/director Xu Jinglei (A Letter from an Unknown Woman). Set amidst the Taiping Rebellion during the Qing Dynasty, Warlords focuses on an unresolved crime, and three brothers who turn on each other because of a beautiful woman. Chan says that it is influenced by the 1973 film, The Blood Brothers, but isn't a remake. We'll find out if the film holds up to expectations soon enough -- it's getting released in Hong Kong next month.