updated 05/23/2008 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/23/2008 AT 2:00 PM ET
Jackie Chan plans to make a film highlighting the plight of victims of last week’s earthquake in China – where the death toll is closing in on the 60,000-person mark and more than 5 million people have been left homeless.
The martial arts screen hero, 54, returned to his home country as soon as he heard about the 7.9-magnitude quake and also plans to raise money through benefits for the victims, he’s announced.
“Events for us are easy,” he told PEOPLE. “I can spend six years doing a movie, but I can plan an event in 72 hours. An event we’re doing on June 1 in Hong Kong will include more than 100 artists from Asia.”
Even so, Chan said at a press conference in London Friday, there is still a lot more to be done, and “I want to do whatever I can to help.”
After visiting hospitals in the devastated areas and seeing schools and houses that were destroyed, the Hong Kong-born Chan decided that the victims of the earthquake were his main priority.
Chan said he has already donated $1.4 million to those affected and had praise for the international communities that have come to China’s aid. “One thing that really touched me was the help offered from the whole world. From Britain, Korea – everyone was there to help,” he said.
As of midday Friday, American and international donations to the earthquake zone had reached $3.6 billion, according to State Council officials, CNN reports.
Chan, who has a tradition of donating to charity, will be holding a meeting Saturday to discuss plans for his intended film. “There are so many touching stories,” he said. “Through this movie, we will be able to show the whole world what happened. This will also be another way to raise money.”