Here is a combination I never thought I’d see: Jared Hess, director of Napoleon Dynamite, will direct a Shanghai Noon sequel, and apparently Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson will reprise their roles as Wang and O’Bannon. Hess recently worked with Wilson on Masterminds, a comedy set to come out at the end of this month.
In 2000’s Shanghai Noon, the film followed the unlikely pairing of Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) and Roy O’Bannon (Luke Wilson) as they worked together to rescue a Chinese princess. The film was followed up with a 2003 sequel, Shanghai Knights, but a third film never got off the ground.
What’s surprising about the announcement of Shanghai Dawn isn’t the fact that Wilson and Chan might return, but the appointment of Hess, who is a decidedly niche director. In addition to Napoleon Dynamite, Hess has also directed Nacho Libre, Gentlemen Broncos, and Don Verdean, all movies that have a very particular style of humor.
Think of Hess as a quirkier version of Wes Anderson (if that’s even possible). Masterminds, which also stars Zack Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, and Jason Sudeikis, will be Hess’ most mainstream project yet. It will be fun to see how he infuses his style into the Shanghai Noon universe.