Kung Fu Yoga, an Indo-China joint production, featuring Jackie Chan made a big splash in Chinese media for featuring a real lion in one of the trailers.
The movie is slated to release on January 28, the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year.
In the film, Chan has taken his adventures to a new level by driving a car carrying a lion in the back seat which generated a lot of buzz in the Chinese social media.
The big cat is not computer-generated. The very real predator is owned by Dubai's royal family, state run China Daily reported today.
Chan, 62, plays an archeologist who seeks a lost treasure using an ancient map in the action-comedy. The film was partly shot in India along with Bollywood actors like Disha Patani, Amyra Dastur and Sonu Sood in pivotal roles.
Kung Fu Yoga is one of the three Indo-Chinese co-productions being made as a result of an agreement between the two countries.
According to Jonathan Shen, founder of Shinework Media, one of the film's Chinese producers, the movie will be released in around 500 cinemas in India.
The film's trailer featuring the lion, which was released on Jan 5, has garnered millions of clicks on major video-streaming sites, making it one of the most-anticipated films.
Chan, who has starred in more than 100 films and been involved in at least another 100, is very popular globally for his unique blend of action and comedy.
In September 2014, China and India signed a groundbreaking agreement on co-producing films, in a bid to bring the two major movie powerhouses together.
It yielded results in May the following year, when China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, and the Indian embassy in China announced plans for three jointly produced films.
Kung Fu Yoga is one of the three films. The other two are a biographical feature of "Xuan Zang", based on the seventh-century monk's pilgrimage to India, and "Buddies" in India.
"Xuan Zang" was released in April and "Buddies" will also premiere during the upcoming Spring Festival.
Of the three films, Chan's movie is expected to make an impression in India as the star's early Hollywood blockbusters - "Rumble in the Bronx" (1995) and "Rush Hour" (1998) and "The Myth" - made him a well-known name in the country.
Disha Patani plays an India professor assisting Chan, and Amyra Dastur is in the role of her sister. "Kung Fu Yoga" is their first Chinese-language movie.
As for the commercial prospects of the film, Chinese filmmakers believe it will make a splash in both markets.
"Kung fu is a symbol of China, just like yoga is of India," says Stanley Tong, the Hong Kong director, who helped make Chan famous in Hollywood.
Tong says the film features scenes shot in Iceland and Dubai. Most of Chan's action films offer visual feasts. Also, using his personal connections with Dubai's royal family, Tong borrowed several animals, including the lion, from them, besides some very expensive sports cars.
For Chan, however, the movie is all in a day's work. "I love to be on a film set. It's my amusement park. I always have new ideas and realise my dreams when I am there," Chan said.
Feature Image Source: Trailer