Donnie Yen Says CROUCHING TIGER 2 Is 'Something I've Never Done Before'
Actor Donnie Yen has long been a Hollywood hopeful for his worldwide fanbase after crossing over in Miramax’s North American redistribution of the Yuen Woo-Ping classic, Iron Monkey. The iconic Hong Kong action legend who has since taken the world by storm in such films as Highlander: Endgame, Shanghai Knights, Blade 2, Stormbreaker, The Princess Blade (Shurayukihime) and German TV series Der Puma now has his own production company and is still making movies to this day while bringing his family along for the ride, one of the many things Yen discussed in his latest interview hosted by Mathew Scott for Prestige Hong Kong.
One other point of interest that came was when Yen spoke about how he felt about accepting his newest role in director Yuen’s forthcoming production of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Destiny for The Weinstein Company, based on late Chinese author Wang Dulu’s Crane/Iron pentalogy of novels. “To be honest, I’m calm,” he told Scott. “I’m not taking it for granted but I’m more excited about taking my family to New Zealand. I told Harvey Weinstein that. He approached me for the last three years and I kept turning him down. I told him I wasn’t really interested in the film. I said it’s not that I don’t have respect for the franchise and the brand and yourself – you’re one of the greatest producers in the industry – it’s just that as someone who has been in the business for a long time, it doesn’t appeal to me. I played these roles a thousand times and I’m not looking to break into Hollywood. You have to give me a reason to look forward to the role. He was shocked.”.
As it stands, Yen‘s ambivalence here on Hollywood roles comes just seven months after Twitch broke the news in a press release stating the actor was in talks to star in Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark helmer Troy Nixey’s reportedly next film from Arclight Films titled Priority Run, which would set Yen in a story about a prison convoy ambushed by a sinister organization hell bent on killing its inmates for mysterious motives.
As far as we know, the Yen is still in talks as he already has his hands full with promoting at least two more films before producing and starring in a batch of others. But it’s sufficient to note that the idea still seems like a fresh and interesting idea for a proper action vehicle that would suit Yen very well, which makes it all the more hopeful that Yen will be confirmed if he so chooses.
As for playing the role of Silent Wolf in the Crouching Tiger sequel, Yen explains why he decided this was his next route. “Several things,” he says. “The fact that it’s being shot in English – a Chinese-language costume drama but in English. This is something I’ve never done before. As an actor I still have a lot of passion to see how far I can go. And the other big reason is New Zealand, with the Lord of the Rings studio.”.
Production goes underway for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Destiny this July for a 2015 release. Yen will also star in the forthcoming release of Teddy Chen’s Cannes-bound martial arts crime thriller, Kung Fu Jungle (formerly titled Kung Fu Killer by way of previous working title Last Of The Best), and in director Derek Kwok’s 1970’s action cop thriller, Dragon City and his return to ‘Grandmaster’ form in Ip Man 3D; The list goes on, of course.
To read the full context of Yen‘s discussion with Scott, head over to Prestige Hong Kong.