Best known for his work on staple kung fu flicks like The Forbidden Kingdom and Fearless, Chinese stuntman Ju Kun, had been in Malaysia since February.
Ju, who was on board the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight, has been working as the co-fight choreographer on The Weinstein Company and Netflix joint project, Marco Polo.
The 35-year-old stunt master, who worked as kung fu star Jet Li’s stunt double, had planned a quick trip to Beijing to visit his two sons, aged five and one, as well as to collect work materials for his latest project.
“It was an unfortunate circumstance that this happened,” said Brett Chan, Marco Polo’s stunt co-ordinator and fight choreographer in an email interview.
“But we all whole-heartedly believe he will come back to us. I hopea he comes back soon ... I miss my dear friend,” he added.
The series is scheduled for shooting at the Pinewood Studios in Johor Baru next month.
A joint statement from The Weinstein Company and Netflix stated: “We are deeply saddened by news of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Ju Kun, who was on board, was an integral part of our production team and a tremendous talent. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”
Marco Polo creator and producer John Fusco said: “Ju Kun is not only a treasure of martial arts talent and knowledge, he is a treasure of a person loved by many. We are all missing him right now and keeping each other strong.”
Fusco added that his team will persevere and carry on with the production, in honour of Ju Kun.
“It is a tragic incident beyond our control, but our exceptional martial arts team will continue to work with the same creative energy and ethic that Ju Kun has brought to the group.
“They know it’s what he would want at this time. Our stunt team’s courage and hearts at this difficult time have brought all of us closer together,” he said.