After an unexpected turn as the infamous titular character in The Monkey King <西遊記之大鬧天宮>, which opens in theaters on January 30, Donnie Yen (甄子丹) plans to return to his iconic Ip Man role in the film series’ third installment, which is expected to begin filming next year.
Last year, it was rumored that Donnie withdrew from Ip Man 3 <葉問3> because producer Raymond Wong (黃百鳴) planned to have his son, Edmond Wong (黃子桓), replace the original director, Wilson Yip (葉偉信). However, Pegasus Motion Pictures CEO John Chong (莊澄) explained at a press conference last June that the film’s delay was due to scheduling conflicts, not disagreements between the cast and crew. He also dismissed rumors that Donnie backed out due to disagreements over his salary.
According to Chong, Ip Man 3 was originally scheduled to be filmed from June to September 2013. However, Donnie was involved in other film projects. Director Wilson Yip also had other work obligations during that time and thus recommended that Edmond Wong switch from screenwriter to director. Edmond was busy preparing for his wedding, so filming was postponed until the year after.
The producers hope that Ip Man 3 can be filmed sometime next year and emphasized that the film will definitely have a 3D release.
A Breakthrough as the Monkey King
Because of his well-known portrayal of Ip Man and other heroic figures, Donnie surprised many people, including his own family members, when he decided to take on the role of Sun Wukong in The Monkey King. He shared that his children could not even recognize him when they watched the movie’s premiere.
In order to prepare for the role, Donnie carefully studied the previous depictions of Sun Wukong, with an emphasis on those by Stephen Chow (周星馳) and Liu Xiao Ling Tong (六小齡童). Though he was happy to hear that some viewers praised him as “the best Monkey King on the silver screen,” Donnie humbly responded that he could not be considered better than his predecessors.
“It did feel like I was playing with fire this time, because many people did not think highly of it beforehand,” Donnie shared. “Before watching the film, many people thought, ‘How could Donnie Yen play Sun Wukong?’ After watching it, they were all surprised that I had a breakthrough in my acting style. But as long as no one scolds me, then I think I’ve passed the test!”
Donnie will be filming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2 <卧虎藏龙2> and Kowloon Walled City <九龙城寨> this year.
This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.