Donnie Yen Responds in Anger to “Iceman” Production Team’s Accusations
The team lists Donnie Yen’s uncooperative actions on set.
The production team of the movie Iceman: The Time Traveler <冰封俠：時空行者>” recently issued a lengthy post on Weibo, which lists lead actor Donnie Yen‘s (甄子丹) unpalatable behaviors on set and refusal to cooperate with publicity efforts. The 55-year-old actor has replied angrily towards the accusations, saying he will pursue legal actions.
As the second movie in the Iceman trilogy, the movie was released on November 2 and took in just 16 million RMB over the past two days. Reviews have been just as disappointing, with a 5.3 score on Weibo movie rating and a failed score on Taopiaopiao, Maoyan, and other Chinese platforms.
On November 2, the production team revealed that the sequel was made because the team had been cheated by a previous member of the company during the first movie, and therefore wanted to use the sequel as a means to correct the company’s reputation and recoup its losses. Its casting choice of Donnie Yen was a practical decision. Faced with an onslaught of negative reviews, the production team would like to apologize to director Raymond Yip (葉偉民) and scriptwriter-cum-film-producer Manfred Wong (文雋) as they are not to be blamed.
Rather, the team pointed out that bulk of the responsibility should in fact be lead actor Donnie Yen’s to bear. They go on to list the latter’s numerous controversial behaviors:
- Unilaterally Editing the Script
Rather than following his lines from the script, Donnie would amend his lines on set and refuse to do a retake of his scenes, making spontaneous edits to historical details. Though the movie was set in the Ming Dynasty during the reign of Tianqi, yet Donnie spouted lines such as, “The Ming Dynasty would meet its end in 10 years!” To add on, Donnie refused to abide by his character’s image and wear his wig, with the excuse that “the hairpiece would affect his performance”.
- Disrespectful, Egoistical Behavior On Set
According to the post, Donnie often disrupted the action director from carrying out his duties by offering his own advice based on his experience in action films. “Worried that his co-actors would steal his limelight onscreen”, he also interfered with casting choices, and tried to reduce the screen time of his co-stars by threatening to boycott publicity efforts, in order to ensure his prime position as lead actor.
- Refusal to Participate in Publicity Efforts
The post mentioned that the production team gave in to Donnie’s actions in the hopes that the star would cooperate with publicity efforts. However, after the movie’s premiere date was confirmed, he came up with multiple excuses to “defer his participation in publicity efforts” and “denied his involvement in the movie”.
Based on the above points, the post concluded by harshly rebuking Donnie’s lack of professionalism and refusal to honor the contract.
Donnie Yen Responds in Anger
Donnie issued a fiery 20-point statement in retaliation, tearing apart the Iceman production team’s accusations as false. He felt that the production team issued the accusations after the box office reception for the movie was poor, hoping to generate publicity for the movie. Although the production team has since erased its Weibo post, Donnie said he will pursue legal action for the slander.
“I’m very angry. I thought about it for the whole night. Since the industry is cold and the economy is not good, the publicity fee for each movie is meager. The film attempts to maliciously discredit the actors to improve the attention of the film. I will fulfill you,” Donnie wrote angrily.
In response to the production team claiming that Donnie had altered his lines, Donnie responded, “Since the movie was dubbed [in Mandarin] and the production crew was dissatisfied with the lines, why didn’t you dub it with your preferred lines? The dialogue was already approved, but why now the accusations?”
Donnie further wrote, “A sequel that was filmed five years ago is only released now. As to the reasons why, it should be very clear.” Donnie felt that it was very unethical to use him as a scapegoat to generate publicity for the film. “Since you’re dissatisfied with [me], why are you releasing these ‘reasons for dissatisfaction’ at the same time as the poor reviews for the movie are surfacing?” and “Deliberately slandering an actor’s reputation will increase the film’s reception? Or improve the box office results?”
Donnie further said that he is not unwilling to cooperate with publicity efforts, but without advance notice, he is unable to attend the promotional events if he is currently filming in New Zealand.
Disappointed by the publicity tactics of Iceman: Time Traveler, Donnie concluded, “From now on, I can only select professional teams to work with, and release high-quality projects without disappointing my fans and my passion for film.”
This article is written by JoyceK for JayneStars.com.