Donnie Yen: “Vincent Zhao Needs to Apologize!”

Filming Special ID <特殊身份> last year, Donnie Yen (甄子丹) was faced with numerous obstacles. Having been in the industry for more than 30 years, Donnie admitted they were the most problematic situations he faced.

Vincent Zhao (趙文卓) withdrew from the movie after claiming that Donnie was too domineering to work with. At the same time, director Tan Bing (檀冰) filed a lawsuit against Donnie, claiming his action movie plagiarized the script of Ultimate Codebreaker <終極解碼>. When pressed for answers, Donnie never touched upon any details, leaving the speculations wide open. Since a year has now passed, he believes it is the right time to speak up as the truth has slowly become apparent in everyone’s eyes.

Donnie gave a thorough explanation of what had happened at a promotional event for Special ID in Guangzhou yesterday. At the start of filming, Donnie had invited Vincent to participate although the film company refused adamantly. The company labeled Vincent as a “very difficult person,” and suggested Donnie to think otherwise. Nonetheless, he insisted on casting Vincent.

Indeed, problems quickly surfaced. As the producer, Donnie attempted to solve everything and believed all would be under control. “When problems arouse, I personally spoke with him and asked him to stay on several occasions. I even spoke with his former management company, hoping to resolve the problems. Actually, when filming movies, problems come up every day. From my perspective, what problems cannot be solved? I didn’t think that the problems truly cannot be solved. The press statement [to let go of Vincent] was issued after I discussed with the film company.”

Vincent openly accused the film company for its unethical work ways and criticized the producer. Donnie did not join it on the critical remarks, choosing to focus on his work rather than join in the verbal crossfire.

Donnie admitted that the chances of working with Vincent again are low. Donnie said, “To be honest, I think he should give the public and the people he implicated an apology.”

Tan Bing’s Plagiarism Claims

Adding to the turmoil, Tan Bing held several press conferences to accuse Special ID of plagiarism. He filed a lawsuit, and the case was soon brought to court. Speaking of Tan Bing, Donnie exclaimed angrily, “He is an undesirable man in the film industry. The entertainment circle shall not allow these undesirable people to exist.”

Donnie insisted they had not plagiarized in any manner, and the storyline of their film was unique and different than that of Tan Bing’s Ultimate Codebreaker. Although the complaint was filed against the film company, Tan Bing spoke poorly of Donnie when facing the media. “What does it have to do with me? Obviously he is creating hype,” Donnie said angrily. “Tan Bing had lost the lawsuit but told the public the final results were undecided. At this point, I am the one filing a lawsuit against him.”

Donnie remembered his first time filming, when he woke up early and earned little. “Everyone wakes up to face different problems. It’s all about how you plan to solve them. You pay the price for whether you choose the straight road or the crooked road. But I still think it’s better to not go down the crooked road.” No matter how many ups and downs Donnie faced throughout his career, his passion for filming movies has not changed.


This article is written by Shirley for

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  1. I’ll be siding with Vincent Zhao on this one. He’s a guy I can respect.

    1. i 2nd that. ive been a fan of vincent for a very long time. i read that people who worked with him said he is professional and fun to work with. Never heard he had problems with them.
      on the other hand, donnie is ….

  2. Don’t know them personally, but I could see their star power and potential diva attitudes. It’s really funny when men point the finger at each other. I wonder if catty is still the appropriate word to use here?

    1. Donnie and Shu Qi are friends and he did apologize to her and his friends in the industry that were also attacked in support of him.

  3. Thats the proof that donnie is a ‘talk less do more’ man.Rather than trashtalking in media,he focused in the movie.

    1. A year committed to making four movies without any complaints nor getting involved in the feud. Why talk when you can just continue making movies?

      1. That’s because he was kept in his place when he was working alongside big names like Anthony Wong and Sammo Hung.

        He starts acting out when he thinks he’s the king of the hill. His ego got in the way of his work or he would have made it big much earlier in his career.

      2. That’s not even the point lol. While Vincent/Bing acted like crybabies on the press making all these claims (which were actually between them and Beijing Starlet Films anyway, with the accusations as cover-up), Donnie put all his efforts on continue making movies instead of trash-talking immaturely like those two.

        Donnie doesn’t act out like anything, that’s the perception most people have considering his American upbringing, rumors and misquoted statements. Besides, martial arts movies declined greatly in the late 90s which meant Donnie had to seek other options, mainly behind the camera. That’s why he became famous later on.

  4. People, people… Can’t you see it already? The problems have been between Vincent/Tan Bing and the production company (Beijing Starlit Co) all along.

    The reason why they target Donnie is because it’s their way of getting back at the people who handled their contracts, to which Donnie never had any part in. At one point, Vincent even publicly accused them for contract breaching but took back his words and accused Donnie instead. It’s so obvious.

  5. Donnie is so arrogant. He’s such a diva! Anyway, I’ve been bored by his movies. It all becomes kinda the same.

    1. ele ta certo, opinião dele, vincent não quis fazer o filme com ele, quem mandou ele fugir? Vincent foi correndo dele com medo, não queria enfrentar ‘-‘

    2. He has become more humble. But being passionate and confident in what you do and love should not be considered arrogant or ego tripping.

    1. lógico que não, ele é um artista marcial, o vincent que não queria trabalhar com ele, e deve um pedido de desculpas

  6. I never liked Donnie. His arrogant attitude is a turn off and I never felt a good vibe from him. I get a better vibe from Vincent.

  7. Yeah I especially cannot stand his over acting romantic husband face! Puke! Cannot stand his wife also damn fake

    1. Ya, can’t stand both of them, like to act lovey-dovey. Makes me want to puke.

  8. I believe, that even if Donnie is a hard man to work with, he has earned every moment of it. This is a man who demands perfection, and when he gets it, it is gold. There is nothing diva in his actions, he has waited a full year while cranking out some wicked movies. I for one love him wholeheartedly and believe he has earned every bit of the perfectionist attitude he has. Everyone else is just jealous.

    1. I also think Donnie is a hard working man. What he has today is what he deserved and I respect him for that. I don’t get that arrogant vibe from him at all. I’m a fan of Donnie’s work!

      1. Donnie may seem cocky (mostly attributed through text-written interviews and rumors) because of his American upbringing but Vincent Zhao ain’t perfect himself. Remember, this is the same guy who showed a cocky attitude (confirmed by Corey Yuen in a recent interview) toward Jet Li when they collaborated in Fong Sai Yuk, and had problems with Hong Kong movie staffs when he was working in Hong Kong in the late 90s. This is why Vincent never broke out as a star in his own right.

  9. I didn’t know who Vincent Zhao was until the Special ID incident. But I know who Donnie is and I have watched every movie and TV series, and I will continue supporting Donnie.

    1. I watched Vincent as Wong Fei Hung long time ago. As I usually watched Jet Li as Master Wong, but to my surprise, I came to like Vincent too. Beside his martial art, acting was quite good and not woody. I think Vincent is much better than Donnie which is dull and woody. No offence.

      1. yeah agree!! vincent acting is wayyyy better than Donnie lol
        and im not even a vincent fan

      2. Vincent was so hot as Wong Fei-hung LOL /cue inner shallow fangirl

        I thought he would be too young for the role, but surprisingly, he did well. But he had a lot to carry on his shoulders, considering that he was a “replacement” of Jet Li. You don’t really want to replace Jet Li if you don’t want to get yelled at lol

  10. by the way, I heard that this movie is below sub standard than the usual Donnie standard

  11. I never liked Donnie Yen, gained fame because of Ip Man and he thinks he is superb.

    1. Yeah, I agree with most of you about Donnie, he is so arrogant that I can’t stand him at all. It is time for him to get off his high horse for once. Fame is getting to his enormous head…..egotistic and self-center. His botox face is getting more and more like Bruce Jemmer’s.

    2. His desperation to be associated with every great Chinese hero despite his horrible acting and miscasting is sickening. Which famous hero/MA hasn’t he played?
      The guy’s ego is front and center. The only reason he is cranking stuff out now is cause he will be too old in a few years and he’s trying to make as much as he can before people stop watching it once he can’t do fights scenes well.
      He doesn’t have any acting skills to fall back on.
      His trash talking Vincent is pretty classless. I haven’t seen Vincent say anything more about it aside from his statements on why he left. Sounds more like a promo stunt for his new paint by numbers MA movie.
      I have never seen anyone else say Vincent is hard to work with either.

      1. Funny thing that you say Yen’s desperation to be associated with EVERY great heroes is sickening when Zhao’s the one who has spent most of his career playing Chinese Heroes made famous or redefined by others actors before him. Wong Fei-Hung, Fong Sai Yuk, Whispering Wind, Huo Yuan-Jia, Emperor Kang Xi, Beggar So etc. Let’s not get hypocritical here.

        As for no one criticizing Zhao for being difficult to work with, there’s few exceptions. Corey Yuen confirmed Zhao acting arrogant during casting and shooting (toward Jet Li), and Wong Jing had nothing good to say about Zhao when they collaborated in the late 90s (hence stories of Zhao having problems with Hong Kong movie staffs).

  12. i,ve never seen sch hate mongering in Hollywood so Chinese can be hateful and jealous of someone who made it the hard way,one thing you must learn is that you must restraint from insulting a hardworker

  13. the other thing you have to learn that Donnie yen is the only martial icon left in your industry and he,s delivering

  14. IMO, both version by Vincent and Donnie is true. Donnie as the producer has the right to change script at last moments (just like certain TVB scriptwriter?) if he thinks the storyline doesn’t seem to suit. After all, he’s prolly has to answer to investors if the movie can’t sell, so he can use that as an excuse.
    Even though Vincent has the clause clearly stipulated in his contract that any change in script requires his consent, to the film company, Donnie is a more important asset.
    Who can blame Donnie for wanting all the delicious action scenes to showcase himself more than another? Just like Jackie Chan or Jet Li movies. Others are just ‘ke-le-feh’ most of the time in order not to steal their limelight. I’m sure Donnie wouldn’t want Vincent to outshine him in performance (just like how he’s known as Ip Man, he wouldn’t want Vincent to be known as Special ID man).
    Vincent is naive to think that even if he’s in the right, everyone will take his side. While he’s a good martial arts actor, he hasn’t been as lucky as Donnie, Jet Li or Jacky Chan and yet to break into international market (the general public equate success as those celebrities who manage to be internationally known). So, Donnie’s market value is much higher and no one wants to be on his bad side.

    1. Also, the clauses in Vincent’s contract was the production company’s responsibility, not Donnie as contracts are always dealt with and handled by company owners.

  15. LOL! many supported Vincent on this the end 90% of you are just keyboard Donnie’s movie, but leave out Vincent’s movie..”support” eh?

    1. You may be right here. But that’s only because there aren’t that many movie with Vincent Zhao?
      Even the role in Ip Man series which was originally rumored to be his went to Kevin Cheng instead. I would think Vincent is more suitable with his martial arts background and all that.
      I remember Vincent fondly in the Mulan series with Anita Yuen. Too bad his opportunity is not here yet. There is yet to be an investor willing to make a ‘brandname’ out of him and he’s only given roles which were made famous by another ie Jet Li/Wong Fei Hung.

  16. From what I read and seen in celebrity news, besides Vincent Zhou and Tan Bing, others that complaint about him included Samo Hung to Ip Man’s son to Raymond Wong to director Yip. U do not hear others complaint about Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Fatt Gor, Jet or Jackie?

    Anyways I saw the movie Special ID, I would say SPL and Flash Point are much nicer.

    1. It’s safe to say that your information are based on rumors that have been circulating on the net lol. Raymond Wong (disagreements on Yip Man 3 and salaries), Sammo Hung (Donnie’s subject on wing chun in relation to his breakthrough) and Yip Chun (the same as above) all clarified the press misquoting Donnie’s statements. As for Wilson Yip, he’s busy with other projects which is why he hasn’t been able to collaborate with Donnie for a while now.

  17. I’m with my Donnie Boo. My problem with what Vincent did was that he publicly slandered Donnie and he should not have. In doing so, he was unprofessional and immature. He has been in the business long enough to know how things work. If he wasn’t happy, he should have just left and moved onto some other project. Why lash out at Donnie? And Donnie was smart to redirect his disappointment with Vincent and focus on the work. That is what a professional does. The show must go on. And when issues like this arise in the industry, which is not uncommon, and leads to a lawsuit, it is wise not to speak publicly about it, until things are somewhat resolved.

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