Jackie Chan has made hundreds of incredible action movies during his career. But one of his potentially biggest movie projects fell apart at the last minute. Here’s the story of the Jackie Chan Nosebleed movie project that canceled after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Jackie Chan’s Canceled Film Nosebleed
One of the scripts that Jackie Chan had in active development in between Rush Hour (1998) and Shanghai Nights (2003), was a film called Nosebleed. It was an action-comedy about a World Trade Center window washer in New York City who stops a terrorist attack.
Pre-Production Timeline Of The Jackie Chan Nosebleed Project
Two years before September 11, 2001, Jackie mentioned the Nosebleed movie in his 1999 book, I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action. The script for Nosebleed (written by Jackie Chan, Raven Metzner, Stu Zicherman) went through several revisions until the rights were acquired by New Line Cinema in February 1999. Then in 2000, MGM Studios acquired the rights from New Line and attached Finnish director, Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master). Steven Spielberg also had an interest in the film, possibly in a producer role. By mid-2001, the Jackie Chan Nosebleed project had all of the elements of a successful blockbuster movie.
Nosebleed Movie – Plot Outline
The plot for the Nosebleed movie revolves around a window washer who learns about a terrorist plot to blow up several NYC landmarks. The Statue of Liberty and Twin Towers are both specifically mentioned in the film treatment. Jackie was slotted to play the lead role, a window washer, and the film would follow his efforts to stop the terrorists.
Nosebleed Movie – Cancellation & Salvage Attempts
Production for Nosebleed was canceled immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Several attempts to rewrite the script were made but ultimately abandoned. Both the location and the antagonists were too insensitive following September 11th. In addition to Nosebleed, several other films were quickly modified before release including Spider-Man (2002) and Zoolander (2001). Both films had to reshoot scenes to remove shots of the World Trade Center.
Jackie Chan’s Word Trade Center Escape Rumors Following September 11th
After news broke of how close Nosebleed’s plot was to the events of September 11th, several rumors started emerging of a real-life death-defying World Trade Center escape by Jackie Chan. According to the Hong Kong newspaper, Oriental Daily News, Jackie was supposedly filming in the World Trade Center on September 11th. The newspaper falsely quotes Jackie saying, “filming was scheduled to have taken place at 7:00 am last Tuesday morning, and as I had to be at the top of one of the towers for one of the scenes, I would probably have died if the shooting went ahead as planned.” The Oriental Daily News’ fake news story was easily disproven. Jackie Chan was in Toronto, Canada at the time of the attacks filming The Tuxedo.
“It represents capitalism. It represents freedom. It represents everything America is about. And to bring those two buildings down would bring America to its knees.”
– An Unconfirmed line from Nosebleed