Jackie Chan and Derek Yee in The Shinjuku Incident

Jackie Chan has always made it very clear that he wants to improve his acting skills (of course doing the third installment of the “Rush Hour” franchise probably didn’t help with that, but I digress), having said previously that he wants to be taken seriously as an actor, not just a comedy/action star. His latest attempt to achieve that brand seems to be “The Shinjuku Incident”, which Jackie will star and produce. And to help him pull it off, Chan has landed a big name director in Derek Yee, who has done some pretty bleak dramatic stuff, including the gritty (and some would say, nihilistic) “One Nite in Mongkok” and the recent Triad crime flick “Protege” with Andy Lau. But why is a drama made in Asia going to cost more than $15 million? That’s a mystery.

More about the film via Variety:

According to Solon So, Chan’s partner in JCE, the budget will be “bigger than ‘The Myth’,” which JCE also produced at a cost of $15 million. ” ‘Shinjuku Incident’ will be Jackie’s next film after ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’,” So told Daily Variety.

But plot details are sketchy. So said only that the pic will be set in the 1990s and feature lives of Chinese immigrants in Tokyo.

See, I still don’t understand the emphasis on the film’s budget being “bigger” than “The Myth”. If it’s a drama, and a mostly contemporary one at that, why the big budget? Mind you, the budget for “The Shinjuku Incident” is only considered “big” by Hollywood standards.

In any case, look for the film sometime in 2008.

Jackie Chan Gets his Drama on with The Shinjuku Incident