Chinese Badass Donnie Yen May Be Joining a ‘Star Wars’ Movie
The new Star Wars movies have been going out of their way to assemble a new cast of diverse actors. The days of the token Lando are a thing of the past – Star Wars: The Force Awakens will feature a lead in John Boyega and Star Wars: Rogue One has locked down the very talented Riz Ahmed. The latest actor to supposedly enter the fold is the actor and martial artist Donnie Yen, one of the great badasses of international cinema ... and the kind of name that will add all kinds of zeroes to any American film’s Chinese release.
The news comes to us from the reliable TwitchFilm, but they are taking their story from the Hong Kong tabloid Apple Daily. So don’t just take this with a grain of salt – take it with great, heaping fistfuls of salt. The biggest alarm bell that should go off in your head is that the paper claims Yen is joining Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode 8 and that the actor is flying off to London next month to begin filming. This is impossible. Episode 8 won’t begin filming until 2016 at the absolute earliest.
But there could be some truth here because Star Wars: Rogue One begins filming in London next month. Twitch backs this up, saying that director Gareth Edwards and his crew have been circling Chinese actors to join the cast. If Yen is joining a Star Wars movie, it is almost undoubtedly Rogue One, not Episode 8.
Although Yen would make for one helluva Jedi, Rogue One will be the first Star Wars movie to not feature any of the saga’s more mystical elements. Instead, it will follow the team of Rebel soldiers who steal the plans to the Death Star prior to the events of the original 1977 film. We could easily see Yen as a tough-as-nails commando. In films like Ip Man, 14 Blades, and Legend of the Fist, Yen has proven himself to be one of the great modern action heroes. He may not get to wield a lightsaber, but who needs a lightsaber when your hands can do this:
Since Rogue One begins filming next month, we should hear something official very soon.