Two stunt performers who learned their craft under Jackie Chan died within days of each other. Yang Sheng, who worked with Chan on Police Story, died on July 28 at 58. Bradley James Allan, who fought with Chan in Gorgeous, died on Saturday at 48. Chan remembered their work in a blog post on Saturday, calling the past few days a “very difficult and sad time for me.”
Sheng joined the Jackie Chan Stunt Team in 1984 and performed “some amazingly dangerous stunts” in the 1985 film Police Story, Chan noted. ” It was during this time that I started to appreciate the skills and bravery of stuntmen from China,” Chan wrote. “It feels like it was only yesterday when we endured so many life and death moments together.” On July 29, the Stuntman Working Committee of the Chinese Film Association confirmed Sheng died at Tianjin Center Hospital. A cause of death was not reported.
A sad RIP to the super-talented Brad Allan. We brought him on on @edgarwright’s recommendation as the stunt coordinator on SOLO. He was a creative master of fight choreography — helped us design Han and Chewie’s fight in the pit and the Enfys Nest train fight and so much more. pic.twitter.com/W0Lb2VIKD3
— Christopher Miller (@chrizmillr) August 7, 2021
Allan died of an undisclosed illness, Chan wrote. Chan met the Australian native while filming Mr. Nice Guy (1997) and soon hired Allan as a stunt man. He was the first-ever non-Asian member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team. He worked with Chan on several films, most notably Gorgeous (1999), in which Allan played a boxer. Allan also worked as a stunt coordinator on dozens of Hollywood blockbusters, including Wonder Woman, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kick-Ass, Pacific Rim, and Sinister 2. Before his death, Allan finished work on the upcoming movies Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and The King’s Man.
“Within the space of a few days, the JC Stunt team lost 2 family members. It’s hard to find words to describe how I feel,” Chan wrote. He vowed to continue working with the China Stuntmen Association so there will be more opportunities for stuntmen to “perform their skills and present their work on an international stage, and also obtain more assurances and respect for even the most basic stuntmen in the industry.” The living legend added, “I think I’ve reached a point in my life where if I know I have the ability to do something, I should do something, and it’s [certainly] something I will do. To my two brothers, there are no illnesses in heaven. Rest In Peace. Will always be missing you!”
Director Edgar Wright, who worked with Allan on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and The World’s End, remembered Allan as “one of the best action directors & designers” in the industry. “I was lucky enough to work with him twice (on Scott Pilgrim & The World’s End), and call him a friend,” Wright tweeted. “I have more to say about this genius, but I can’t even process that he’s gone. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Love you, Brad.”
Mortal Kombat‘s Max Huang, who was a member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team, called Allan one of his “biggest idols.” Huang added, ” So grateful to have had the chance to meet, work and learn with/from you. Your spirit will live on in our hearts. As he used to say, Jackie Chan Stunt Team FOREVER!”