The Forbidden Kingdom is a 2008 Chinese-American martial arts film written by John Fusco, and directed by Rob Minkoff, and starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li. The film is loosely based on the novel Journey to the West, it is the first film to star together two of the best known names in the martial arts film genre. South Boston teenager Jason Tripitikas (Michael Angarano) is a fan of martial arts films and he awakens from a dream of a battle between the Monkey King (Jet Li) and celestial soldiers in the clouds. He visits a pawn shop in Chinatown to buy Wuxia DVDs and discovers a golden staff. On his way home, Jason is harassed by some hooligans, whose leader Lupo attempts to use him to help them rob the shop-owner Hop. Hop tries to fight the thieves with the staff, but is shot and wounded by Lupo. He tells Jason to deliver the staff to its rightful owner and Jason flees with the staff. He is cornered on the rooftop by the hooligans and almost shot too, but he is pulled off the roof by the staff and falls backwards onto the asphalt. When Jason regains consciousness, he finds himself in a village in ancient China that is under attack by armored soldiers.