Jared Hess, the director best known for Napoleon Dynamite, has been announced as the director for the new action/comedy film Shanghai Dawn, third in the trilogy from the early 2000s which already includes Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights.
The original stars, Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, are in negotiations to reprise their roles from the 2000 and 2003 films for the latest episode.
Plot details of this third instalment are currently under wraps, but it is expected to follow a similarly slapstick pattern to its predecessors. Shanghai Noon was a buddy comedy centring on Chon, a Chinese man who is forced to work with Roy, an outlaw, to save a Chinese princess. In Shanghai Knights, the duo headed to London, to seek revenge on a Chinese rebel who murdered Chon’s father.
Hess will be the third director for the franchise. Shanghai Noon was helmed by Tom Dey, and Shanghai Knights was led by David Dobkin. There will also be new screenwriters on board for this new instalment, with Theodore Riley and Aaron Buchsbaum taking over from Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, who penned the first two films.
This news comes on the heels of reports of a sequel to 2004 hit Napoleon Dynamite, which Hess directed, and which starred Jon Heder as the hapless and eponymous high school student.
Heder recently said in an interview that he is up for a possible franchise return, saying, “Nothing’s written on paper, it’s written in the stars. We have yet to translate the stars, but who knows? It could happen. I feel that the stories of Napoleon aren’t complete.”