There was a time, some 30 years ago, when an action flick starring Mike Tyson and Steven Seagal would have been big news for every red-blooded, beer-swilling American with four bucks to blow on a movie ticket. No longer.
Tyson and Seagal don't have the star power they once did, and movie ticket prices have gone through the roof. But that doesn't mean there's no longer an audience eager to watch these two goons pummel each other in a low budget action flick. It just means that you can watch it home on vide-on-demand instead of going to the theater.
China Salesman, which has already been in theaters in China, and now it's coming to the U.S. To celebrate, the movie has a new trailer.
If you had trouble following that, we can't blame you. The Hollywood Reporter broke down the plot last fall.
Based on a supposedly true story, the $20 million film follows a quick-thinking Chinese telecoms sales rep who uncovers a major conspiracy while on a trade mission to sell equipment to North Africa, somehow averting a major civil war in the process.
The behind the scenes wrangling is even more interesting. Apparently director Tan Bing had to stroke the egos of both Tyson and Seagal before they'd agree to do the movie. He also had to change their eight minute fight scene (!) so that it ended in a draw. Neither wanted to lose.
Directing Tyson, whose acting skills make Seagal look like Marlon Brando, was also quite a challenge.
Working with Tyson — not exactly a classically trained actor — didn’t come without its hurdles, with Tan having to shoot the film chronologically so he could get into his role. “But it was a very special experience for him, he was very moved by the process,” he says.
China Salesman with hit VOD and a handful of big screens next month