Why KFK is Excited about Martial Arts Mega Ensemble, “NON-STOP”

The rise of social media has kicked off countless new trends, but one of the most fun has been the ability of actors, writers, directors, and others in the entertainment industry to tease their fans with their next project.

Sometimes, such teases might take the form of a trailer, set photos, or even a simple proof-of-concept, but other times, the teases start below even what would normally be considered the ground level.

Take, for instance, the recent spark of speculative excitement at the idea of a potential martial arts ensemble flick headlined by Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jet Li, and Ma Dong-seok, also known professionally as Don Lee.

That certainly sounds like a blast in theory, and thankfully, it’s no longer in theory, with Don Lee officially confirming “Non-Stop” is in the works – and here’s why KFK is excited for it!

The “Non-Stop” Post Tease To Don Lee’s Official Announcement

The announcement of “Non-Stop” came in an interview Don Lee gave to Variety on numerous projects he has in the works after his recent appearances in Marvel Studios’ “Eternals” and the upcoming “The Round-Up: Punishment”, the latest installment of Lee’s highly popular “Round-Up” series. While speaking on future plans for the “Round-Up” franchise, Don Lee also confirmed the development of “Non-Stop” as one of numerous projects he has in the works:

“I still have a project left for Marvel. Also ‘The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil,’ which I’m remaking with Sylvester Stallone. And then I’m getting ready for something called ‘Non Stop,’ which is an actual franchise where Asian martial art actors [‘The Raid’ star] Iko Uwais, [‘Ong Bak’ star Tony Jaa] and Jet Li – get together in one movie.”

While Lee’s announcement of “Non-Stop” is certainly exciting news, it all began with the unexplained rise of the “Non-Stop” poster across social media in late 2023.

Non Stop Teaser Poster KUNG FU KINGDOM

Non-Stop Teaser Poster – KUNG FU KINGDOM

At face value, the poster for “Non-Stop” might come across as fan art – very good fan art with a very exciting sales pitch, but fan art nonetheless.

However, the fact that Don Lee himself shared the poster on his Instagram back in December 2023 spoke to the post as being an endorsement on Lee’s part of the hypothetical project at a minimum.

Add in the fact that Iko Uwais himself also gave Lee’s post a like, and martial arts aficionados had plenty of motivation to get excited for “Non-Stop” being more than a hypothetical martial arts movie ensemble. Thankfully, that excitement is now fully tangible after Lee’s announcement.

Aside from Lee’s official confirmation of “Non-Stop” moving forward, the poster itself not only sells action fans on the motley crew of Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jet Li, and Don Lee, but also in the pedigree of highly diversified martial arts action that would likely be the bedrock of “Non-Stop”.

As specified on the poster, “Non-Stop” would feature the four leads of the movie as exponents of Muay Thai, Silat, Kung Fu, and Boxing respectively, selling “Non-Stop” as an MMA-style blend of different martial arts and approaches to action as much as a martial arts ensemble.

For the average martial arts fan, and of course for KFK, that naturally falls into the “Take my money now!” category!

We’ve Already Seen Parts of a “Non-Stop”-Style Martial Arts Ensemble

Though the specific assembly of action heroes teased by the “Non-Stop” poster is one the world has not yet seen together, we have already seen some partial looks at the players involved joining together in other big ensemble pairings.

The most obvious example is that of Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais, who joined forces alongside Tiger Chen in Jesse Johnso’s 2019 action powerhouse “Triple Threat”.

Jet Li has also been part of multiple beloved martial arts ensemble epics, from “Once Upon A Time In China II” and “Hero” (both of which pit him in kung fu duels against Donnie Yen) and 2008’s “The Forbidden Kingdom”, which is warmly remembered as the long-awaited Jackie Chan-Jet Li smackdown and team-up all in one package.

With numerous other such examples in the careers of Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, and Jet Li, martial arts fans have seen the kind of fireworks they each bring to ensemble action movies.

Don Lee, by contrast, is a more recent star but one who has most certainly brought a powerful presence with biceps to match to such South Korean action hits as “Train to Busan”, the “Roundup” franchise, and Netflix’s recent post-apocalyptic action hit “Badland Hunters”.

While all of the above illustrates the great potential of what the quartet of action stars headlining “Non-Stop” could bring to it, there is also another big twist to the announcement of “Non-Stop”.

Jet Li Seemingly Coming Out of Semi-Retirement for “Non-Stop”!

While Jet Li is beloved as one of the greatest martial artists to ever bring his talents to cinema screens, audiences around the world have seen a significant drop in the quantity of Jet Li movies in the last decade, albeit for very understandable and even commendable reasons.

In 2013, Jet Li disclosed that he had been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, which had reportedly impacted his health, resulting in considerably fewer film roles for Li.

Fortunately, Li has since recovered from his condition, though he’s still largely stepped away from the film industry with his primary focus being his philanthropic work through his charity, The One Foundation.

Since 2017, Jet Li has only had two movie roles in the 2017 short film “Gong Shou Dao” (which is quite the martial arts ensemble itself with Wu Jing, Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa, and other high-level martial artists on-board) and Disney’s 2020 live-action remake of “Mulan”.

Ultimately, it’s clear that Jet Li has become quite selective about his film work, deservedly so after after the abundance of martial arts classics he’s headlined in his career.

That being said, a packed martial arts ensemble project like “Non-Stop” could be both an exciting Jet Li comeback, and the perfect swan song for Jet Li’s martial arts movie career. With his apparent decision to come out of his semi-retirement for it, seeing him alongside Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, and Don Lee would undoubtedly be one hell of a return for such a legend of wushu and Asian action films.

With that kind of potential behind it, one can only sit back with anticipation for “Non-Stop” to go from a teased poster on Don Lee’s Instagram to an official announcement to a teaser trailer of martial arts maestros doing what they do best in the near future!

Stay tuned for more info on “Non-Stop” as it arrives!

Are you excited about Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jet Li, and Don Lee teaming up for “Non-Stop”? What are some of your favorite martial arts ensemble movies? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

IT’S NON-STOP in the KINGDOM of FU with exclusive interviews from Iko Uwais and Tony Jaa; be sure to keep SPEEDING AHEAD in KFK gear and subscribe for more FANTASY-FU on YouTube!

Brad Curran

From the earliest days of childhood, Brad Curran was utterly fascinated by martial arts, his passion only growing stronger after spending time living in the melting pot of Asian cultures that is Hawaii. His early exposure developed into a lifelong passion and fascination with all forms of martial arts and tremendous passion for action and martial arts films. He would go on to take a number of different martial arts forms, including Shaolin Ch'uan fa, Taekwondo, Shotokan Karate and remains a devoted student, avid and eager to continue his martial arts studies. Brad is also an aspiring writer and deeply desires to share his love for martial arts and martial arts movies with the world!

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