Akshay Kumar, who hasn't done a full-on action film in seven years, is undergoing training in the martial art form called Wushu with co-star Deepika Padukone for Warner Brothers' first Bollywood film Made In China.
So far, the chief practitioners of Wushu on the large screen have been Jackie Chan and Jet Lee. Akshay has always idolised Jackie Chan and has to an extent modelled his career on the Chinese action hero. In Made In China he gets to do a full-on homage to his idol.
"Akshay has been a martial arts student for years," director Nikhil Advani told IANS. "The Wushu style is very big in China. Jet Li and Jackie Chan constantly practice it," he added.
Apparently, the script was written with Akshay in mind.
Advani said: "My writer Sridhar Raghavan and my Indian producer Rohan Sippy designed the film with Akshay in mind. It was either Akshay or no one else for the role. We needed a lead pair who could do the action scenes with the grace of dancers. Both Deepika and Akshay are phenomenal dancers and athletes."
Made in China, with Ramesh and Rohan Sippy serving as the Indian producers, will start shooting in China from Jan 2008.
Shanghai, Beijing and a village near the Chinese capital are the locations selected, for India's first film to be shot in China.
It will be shot at a stretch in six months from January to May. Akshay and Deepika will be in China for almost six months, with their respective families coming in and out of the country.