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“He Who Controls the Spice, Controls the Skadoosh!” Jack Black Talks About ‘Kung Fu Panda 4,’ in Cinemas March 6

Embark on an epic journey with Po as he embraces his role as the Spiritual Leader in "Kung Fu Panda 4," featuring Jack Black, Awkwafina, and Viola Davis. Opening in Philippine cinemas March 6.

“Returning to play Po feels like reconnecting with an old friend who’s still as awesome and goofy as ever,” says Jack Black about one of his most beloved characters. 

After three fantastic adventures as the legendary Dragon Warrior, destiny calls for Po to take the next step and fill Oogway’s shoes as the Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace in Kung Fu Panda 4. “Po’s journey this time around as the Spiritual Leader adds a whole new layer to his personality,” says Black. 

“He has a new depth to him, like this whole ‘wise and all-knowing’ thing, but, at the same time, part of him wonders, ‘Can I really do this?” he continues. “Am I wise enough to step into these shoes? Can you be the wisest dude in the room and still crack a joke?’ Po thinks so. And he’s out there trying, and that’s what makes Po so awesome. The most rewarding part is seeing Po evolve emotionally, going from a noodle-slurping warrior to a spiritual leader with a heart as big as his appetite.”

NEW TRAILER! Watch the “Sand & Spice” trailer for Kung Fu Panda 4

Director Mike Mitchell (Shrek Forever AfterTrolls) is also impressed by Black’s emotional depth as Po. “It’s no secret that Jack is one of the funniest actors of all time,” Mitchell says. “But he’s so much more than that. He’s a terrific actor and he really finds the emotional core of each scene. That’s something you wouldn’t expect in an animated family film, but he’s really good at finding that emotional depth.”

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Adorable New Friends… and Mighty Villains

As a new villain threatens his world, Po must team up with a Corsac fox thief named Zhen, voiced by Golden Globe winner Awkwafina, to help defeat this villain and restore peace. “Diving into Zhen’s world in Kung Fu Panda 4 was a blast,” Awkwafina says. “The character’s toughness and cleverness immediately caught my attention—there’s a fun mischievousness to her that I found intriguing. And of course, the opportunity to become a part of the Kung Fu Panda universe, a franchise that has not only entertained but profoundly touched the lives of countless fans, was an offer I couldn’t resist.”

A powerful new force is disrupting the tranquility of the Valley of Peace in Kung Fu Panda 4. Voiced by Oscar winner Viola Davis, the Chameleon is a powerful sorceress, a sharp-tongued and surprisingly funny pint-sized lizard who can shape-shift into any creature no matter how big or small (though she often opts for the big ones). “We realized the absence of a powerful female villain to go up against Po in this franchise, so we decided to fill that gap,” director Mitchell says. “The Chameleon’s supernatural powers make her the most epic villain the franchise has ever seen… And then when you add Viola Davis’s voice to it, man, does this character come to life.”

“Working on this film gave me a sense of freedom to just be silly for a few hours, and I had forgotten what it feels like – just to be silly,” Davis says. “They encouraged a sense of play and gave me the license to push the envelope. Being given permission to be free with my silliness, ideas and voice helped me overcome any anxieties that I had going into it. I think the freshness of these films is fueled by the actors’ imagination when they step into the room, and when you have awesome leaders who give you permission to bring new ideas to a well-established franchise, that’s what keeps it feeling vibrant.”

A Happy Place

The Kung Fu Panda films, and Po’s evolution, Black says, have had a profound effect on him. “Kung Fu Panda is like my happy place – Po and the gang are like family,” he says. “It’s the humor, the heart, the whole package that brings me back. My perspective on Po has grown, too. He started as this bumbling panda with dreams of being a kung fu master, and now he’s becoming the Spiritual Leader. And just knowing that Po’s adventures have resonated with audiences worldwide and being part of that legacy… it’s an honor, man.”

A must-watch for the entire family, Kung Fu Panda 4, also featuring the voices of Dustin Hoffman, James Hong, Bryan Cranston, Ian McShane and Ke Huy Quan and distributed by Universal Pictures International, opens in Philippine cinemas March 6. #KungFuPanda4Ph 

Follow Universal Pictures PH (FB)UniversalPicturesPH (IG) and UniversalPicsPH (TikTok) for the latest updates on Kung Fu Panda 4.

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Movie Info

Kung Fu Panda 4
Action, Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family

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