Donnie Yen Underpaid for “Ip Man” Projects?

In May, Hong Kong media outlets reported that the highly anticipated Ip Man 3 <葉問3> was canceled after Donnie Yen (甄子丹) withdrew to film the project. Creative differences reportedly came up between director Wilson Yip (葉偉信) and producer Raymond Wong (黃百鳴), who wanted his own son, Ip Man screenwriter Edmond Wong (黃子桓), to replace Wilson in the director’s chair for Ip Man 3in 2D. Donnie decided to back out of Ip Man 3 to show his support to Wilson, a longtime collaborator.

However, a recent phone interview with Raymond Wong revealed that he is still interested in continuing the franchise with both Donnie and Wilson in the crew. Raymond stated, “Donnie doesn’t have time this year. Wilson also has other jobs to do. [Ip Man 3] is under contract. No one can make it unless we make it first. The script has already been given to the Beijing film bureau for approval.”

A new tabloid rumor alleged that Raymond dismissed Donnie from the job after the actor demanded for a $50 million HKD salary. Raymond countered these rumors, claiming that Donnie was paid at his market quote. “The remuneration he received from me never exceeded the pay that others gave him. I never said his asking price was too much.”

As for the reports indicating that Raymond wanted his son to helm Ip Man 3, the filmmaker clarified, “It was Wilson Yip who suggested Edmond to direct while he produces. Wilson is too busy at the moment, but Edmond also has his wedding this year, so he doesn’t have the time to make the film either.”

Raymond then hinted that the studio has not given up on Ip Man 3 yet. He said, “We can’t make the film this year, but I do hope that everyone will have time to do it next year.”

Donnie Yen Responds

When asking about his rumored discord with Raymond Wong over production issues, Donnie did not give a direct answer, saying, “I will always respect him because he is [my] senior.” Asked about his $50 million HKD salary, Donnie said, “The whole world knows that the film remunerationsI received from Raymond are lower than those from Peter Lam (林建岳), Albert Yeung (楊受成), Stephen Shiu (蕭定一), [and] Alexander Wong (王海峰). For many years I have accepted the ‘friendship’ price he gave me. The whole industry knows this.”

Donnie revealed that he was trying to pan out his busy 2013 schedule to shoot Ip Man 3, but things did not go as well as planned. “Peter Lam [Media Asia CEO] originally [gave me an open slot] between June and September. I requested it to be extended to December, but negotiations didn’t go too well.”

Donnie admitted that he preferred Wilson Yip to direct Ip Man 3 instead, explaining, “Wilson Yip and I worked together in the last two Ip Man films. We share the same philosophy for these films, and I want this [partnership] to continue on to the next one, to respect the audience. I don’t want [Raymond’s] son to direct this film, however, I will give his son my utmost support if he chooses to direct another film. I’ve always encouraged new directors.”

Asked if he would go with Raymond’s wishes and shoot Ip Man 3 next year, Donnie said, “My schedule for next year is packed. I do have a new company and there are many projects left for me to do.”

Wilson Yip said, “We are just employees. If [Raymond] wants me to do it, I’ll do it. If he doesn’t want me to I’ll still want to do it, because I really like this film series.”

Source: Apple Daily via

This article is written by Addy for

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  1. I have a feeling that Donnie will end up being the one unavailable when production starts next year. Either way, I’m looking forward to his other projects more than Ip Man 3. The subject is already tiring.

  2. Is Donnie the only one that could be Ip Man? I seriously think there are other actors who could play the part. Just like the James Bond series…Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, etc.

    1. when your market is just a city, then yes … Donnie is the best candidate.

  3. is 50 million HKD really that much? i mean they make so much money from the franchise alone…

    1. 50 m is alot but not to people who have that sort of money

      1. Maybe HKD50 mio is like just 5million to him. Donnie should let someone else be IpMan. For someone who announced right after IPMan-1 that he will NOT do a IpMan-2 (which he did) and now he’s clamouring to do IM-3.

        So, he’s also hinting to the public that Raymond Wong has been underpaying him because his fees has always been ‘friendship price’. In otherwords, Raymond should be grateful. What a &^%&*)! and so moneyface. Probably wanted more money to cover his expenses in his remake of Yuen Biao’s classic The Iceman Cometh. The title King of Remakes really suits him cause he’s still so full of himself.

      2. King of Remakes… Not to sound like a smart-ass but you’re so wrong. Looking at Hong Kong Cinema as a whole, I can think of several celebrates being more suitable for that title than Donnie. Which major celebrity haven’t done remakes ever?

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