Stephen Chow Sing Chi years ago already planned to break into the Hollywood market but has run into a variety of obstacles. He reportedly confirmed that he will direct and star in TAI CHI, a Chinese kung fu story that is based on Bruce Lee's RETURN OF THE DRAGON.
Excelling in playing low class little people, Sing Yeh in the film will play a dishwasher who immigrates from the Mainland to Chinatown. Because the mob is constantly collecting protection money from the restaurant and picking on Chinese people, Sing Yeh who has deliberately hidden his Tai Chi master identity was forced to use real kung fu to teach these mobsters a lesson. All of the Chinese in Chinatown thus could be a sigh of relief and all asked Sing Yeh to be their master and open a school to teach Tai Chi. The film is expected to start production in June in the U.S. with a production budget of around US$60 million. China Film Group and an American independent film company will fund the film. The cast aside from Sing Yeh also included KUNG FU PANDA's U.S. comedy star Jack Black and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA's star Anne Hathaway. Although the film was based on Bruce Lee's RETURN OF THE DRAGON, Sing Yeh also spent two years. The screenplay was repeatedly rewritten but the demanding Sing Yeh still felt the script was not good enough. Thus the film was postponed again and again. Finally Columbia Pictures backed out and Sing Yeh at the end of last year could only fly to the U.S. to look for new collaboration partners.
When asked about TAI CHI, Sing Yeh said, "At this stage I can't respond to anything." Reportedly Sing Yeh and the U.S. film company have signed a confidentiality agreement and for now he cannot reveal the details alone. He was very nervous about his first Hollywood film.
Although his English ability has already improved alot, to be able to communicate with the actors and work with the new film's all English dialogue, he even hired a tutor to strength his English ability. After TAI CHI, at the end of the year Sing Yeh also agreed to produce several China Film Group remake of his films. They included the Xiao Shenyang starred HAIL THE JUDGE (GAU BUN JI MA GUOON).