China’s Ghostwriter: The True Story Behind Jackie Chan’s New Movie “Knight of Shadows”

In the upcoming Chinese blockbuster, Knight of Shadows, Jackie Chan takes on the supernatural as Qing-era folklorist Pu Songling. The high-profile holiday flick is directed by Jia Yuan, whose only other credit was the 2014 schlock fest Bugs.

In his latest picture, Chan as Pu Songling tracks down terrifying beasts with his knowledge of the supernatural and the help of a team of protégés and friendly monsters. Think: “Fantastic Beasts and where Jackie Chan Found Them.”

But Pu Songling was a real figure, and his 聊齋誌異 Liaozhai Zhiyi (Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio) — a collection of over 500 stories with many involving ghosts, spirits, and the supernatural — has been an inspiration for dozens of TV shows and movies over the years.