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A veteran martial arts expert and stunt man who was working on Netflix's upcoming original series "Marco Polo" is among the passengers missing and believed to have died on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the streaming service confirmed to NBC News.
Ju Kun, 35, had completed a day of training on set in Malaysia and was headed home to Beijing on the flight that disappeared over the South China Sea. The plane lost contact at 1:40 p.m. ET Friday, according to Subang Air Traffic Control in Malaysia.
"We are deeply saddened by the news about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370," Netflix and it's producing partner The Weinstein Company said in a joint statement. "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."
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Kun was working as an assistant martial arts choreographer on the series, which is scheduled to begin production in three weeks. In an interview with Deadline, "Marco Polo" creator John Fusco said Kun "is a wonderful, caring soul whose disciplined work ethic inspires everyone around him to raise the bar on themselves." Fusco said that producers would support Kun's wife and her two sons "whatever the outcome may be."
"All of us on location in Malaysia are devastated as we go through this agonizing wait," Fusco told Deadline. "Ju Kun is an integral and beloved member of our 'Marco Polo' family, and on behalf of Harvey Weinstein and Netflix, we are all profoundly shocked and saddened. Right now are are rallying around his wife, Li Ping as she awaits answers in Kuala Lumpur. Our hearts and prayers are also with all of the other missing passengers and their families."
Kun and Fusco worked together on "The Forbidden Kingdom" in 2008. Kun also had worked as Jet Li's stunt double and appeared in "Fearless" and "The Expendables."
Kun's mastery of several styles of martial arts made his choreography stand out.
"From the internal systems like Bagua to acrobatic wushu to the close combat system of Wing Chun, and beyond. But his true mastery is in bringing all of this knowledge together through his action choreography," Fusco said. "Although we are still three weeks out from the start of principle photography, Ju Kun’s special footprint is already on many of our unique martial arts sequences that have been choreographed and prepared by Brett Chan’s stellar team."
Netflix has ordered nine episodes of "Marco Polo," which focuses on the famed explorer’s journey.