Donnie Yen as a Jedi Knight in “Star Wars: Episode VIII”?
With various Hollywood blockbusters – such as <Avengers: Age of Ultron>, <Fast and Furious 7>, and <Jurassic World> – raking in more than $805 USD million in China, Hollywood film makers now place immense value on the Chinese market and have increasingly cast more Chinese celebrities in films. Disney’s reboot of the Star Wars film franchise, which entails filming the 7th, 8th and 9th episodes, will employ the same marketing strategy.
The 8th episode of the Star Wars film franchise will commence filming in London next month. Donnie Yen (甄子丹) has reportedly been invited to star in a substantial role as a Jedi knight who works together with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to battle (a supposedly resurrected) Darth Vader. Donnie will be involved in numerous action scenes.
Donnie was allegedly selected from a list of several other male Chinese celebrities, including Tony Leung (梁朝伟), Chang Chen (张震), Daniel Wu (吴彦祖), Wang Lee Hom (王力宏), Jet Li (李连杰) and Stephen Chow (周星驰). The producers’ foremost requirement was that the actor had to speak fluent English, but they also preferred someone with martial art abilities. This narrowed the list down to Donnie and Jet, and it allegedly eventually boiled down to the difference in asking pay between the two actors – while Jet asked for $10 million USD per film, Donnie only commanded $4 million USD per film.
Donnie was then contacted by Disney when he was still filming Ip Man 3 <叶问3> . Donnie was reportedly very keen to take on the Star Wars role, as it would greatly increase his international profile. Donnie was so keen that before his contract with Disney was even finalized, he allegedly turned down another film offer which would have paid him about $6.4 million USD.
Donnie was asked to confirm whether he will appear in Star Wars: Episode VIII at a recent charity event appearance. As the negotiations are allegedly still in its early stages, Donnie said simply, “No comment, I”m here for charitable purposes tonight.”
This article is written by Jingles for JayneStars.com.