Jackie Chan Almost Starred in One of 2022's Biggest Movies

One of the biggest cinematic surprises of 2022 has definitely been Everything Everywhere All At Once, the genre-bending A24 film that ended up becoming an instant cult classic when it debuted earlier this year. The film, which has officially become the highest-grossing A24 project yet, takes an emotional and oft-bizarre approach to the themes of family and the multiverse — one that almost starred a surprising actor. As a new deep dive from The Hollywood Reporter reveals, the film was originally written with action movie icon Jackie Chan in the lead role, with Michelle Yeoh cast as his character's wife. When Chan was unavailable to appear in the film, the script was rewritten to have Yeoh lead the entire project, which ultimately ended up carrying over into the finished film.

"You never know with the alchemy of storytelling how things will fall," co-director Daniel Kwan says in the report. "Swapping the characters made it more personal, which gave us a wealth of experience to imbue into the story. Suddenly it became a lot easier to write and imagine."

"What I need is to be challenged, to have directors look at me in a different way," Yeoh revealed. "Over the years, my [characters] have been strong, held together. So when I read the script, I was like, 'Whoa, what?'"

What is Everything Everywhere All At Once about?

Everything Everywhere All At Once follows Evelyn Wang (Yeoh), a tired Chinese-American woman struggling to stay afloat. Things get weird when she discovers she's the key to saving the multiverse and can access the knowledge and talents of all her various selves from across the infinite universes. The film also stars Stephanie Hsu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), James Hong (Blade Runner), Ke Huy Quan (The Goonies), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Jenny Slate (Obvious Child), and Harry Shum Jr. (Crazy Rich Asians). The project is directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as The Daniels. 

"It was a great script, it was beautifully written," Quan told ComicBook.com earlier this year. "I think I got a lot of it. I was laughing, I was crying, because it was such a beautiful story, even though it's painted on this amazing science-fiction, action, drama, comedy canvas, but at the core of it was this family. And that's what held the entire story together about love and connection, about acceptance."

"But yeah, the script was just incredible," Quan added. "And what's amazing is that we shot the entire movie without making any changes to the script. Once when we began rolling cameras, we shot it the way it was written. We shot it in 38 days ... It was also great to witness on set how the Daniels brought all those beautiful words [together] and put it up on the screen."

Would you have wanted to see Jackie Chan star in Everything Everywhere All At Once? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!