Will Jet Li put lid on can of whoop-ass?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 12:00am

According to the Oriental Daily, mainland martial arts movie star Jet Li is about to quit show business (Note: They were the ONLY ones to report this). This is despite the fact that he ranked in Forbes China as the highest-paid mainland superstar - he beat out basketball star Yao Ming with earnings of 140 million yuan.

According to the report, Li's family and friends reveal that the action star has become disillusioned with show business.

Since returning from Hollywood Li has decided to turn in his couture suits for a Buddhist robe by the time he reaches 41, which is, sadly, on April 26.

The 'sources' say the star will head to the remote but religious area of the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, where he will practise being a devout Buddhist monk.

CitySeen rummaged through the archives to see if there was any truth to this story and found an interview 'Making of a Hero' in Time magazine, dated January 2002. Li said back then to reporters Stephen Short and Susan Jakes that violence doesn't solve anything.

'I've become Buddhist. I don't want violence to solve things ... I produce movies for television in America. I felt it would be nice to do something else and producing is a way of doing that. Money isn't that important right now, especially in Buddhist culture. You can't take the money with you, or the house, or anything.

'I feel like I have responsibility. I don't want little kids watching films like Kiss of the Dragon. I don't want five-year-olds walking around saying, 'I'm going to kick your ass'.

'I want to broadcast a positive message that there are solutions other than violence. Of course one needs to make money for a studio first, then you can do what you want.'

It could be a mid-life crisis, or a desire to change his career. Either way, I guess we have a few more weeks to see what Jet Li decides to do.