Launched in 2008, The Forbidden Kingdom is a Chinese-American action movie that stars Jackie Chan and Jet Li. The movie was produced with a budget of $55 million. Its box office grossed more than $127 million. The plot starts when Jason Tripitikas, a teenager who is a fan of martial arts, awakens from his dream of a battle between immortal troops and the Monkey King, who is played by Jet Li. Jason goes to Chinatown to visit a pawnshop owned by an old man named Hop. He finds a selection of martial arts DVDs, but finds himself looking at a rather odd and mystic staff at the storage room of the pawnshop. Jason approaches the staff, yet is interrupted by Hop before he could further investigate the item.
On his way home, Jason runs into some hooligans and gets beat up when they discover the DVDs in his possession. Learning that Jason is a good friend of Hop, Lupo uses him to rob the shop at night. Upon breaking into the pawnshop, Hop attempts to fight the thieves and hits one of the hooligans with the staff, yet is shot by Lupo. Hop then instructs Jason to run and find the rightful owner of the staff. He is chased by Lupo and his gang to a rooftop where he also almost gets shot at until the staff pushes him off the roof and into another universe.
After waking up, he finds himself in a farm hut in ancient China. But before he could piece the puzzle, the farm is attacked by a group of soldiers. Jason flees but is cornered by two horsemen. Before the horsemen can retrieve the staff from Jason, a drunk travelling scholar appears. Lu Yan, one of the eight immortals whose elixir is wine, sees the staff from Jason and saves him from the soldiers. They run off to a pub where Lu tells the story of the Money King and his staff. He also reveals Jason as the seeker who is destined to free the Monkey King and restore balance to all of China.