Jet Li Rejected Starring in ‘The Matrix’ Sequels Because He Didn’t Want to Lose Ownership of His Martial Arts Moves

Jet Li Rejected Starring in ‘The Matrix’ Sequels Because He Didn’t Want to Lose Ownership of His Martial Arts Moves
Jet Li had the chance to join one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood circa the early 2000s when the Wachowski siblings offered him the part of Seraph in “The Matrix Reloaded.” The role had originally been written as a woman and offered to Michele Yeoh, but she turned it down because of scheduling conflicts. Li was the Wachowski’s first choice for Seraph after they switched the character’s gender, but Li also turned the role down. Over a decade later, Li has finally revealed the reason why he made the choice (via Abacus).

“It was a commercial struggle for me,” Li said, “I realized the Americans wanted me to film for three months but be with the crew for nine. And for six months, they wanted to record and copy all my moves into a digital library. By the end of the recording, the right to these moves would go to them.
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