Vincent Zhao Ousted From Donnie Yen’s “Special Identity”; Risks Career Suicide By Spilling Dark Secrets
When it was first announced that Donnie Yen (甄子丹) will be fighting against martial arts superstar, Vincent Zhao (赵文卓), in their new movie, Special Identity <特殊身份>, kung fu fans all over the world were ecstatic! Donnie will be fighting a talented martial artist of his own caliber! Vincent had agreed to film Special Identity because he looked forward to the “awesome onscreen sparring” with Donnie. A real-life heated clash quickly resulted between Vincent and the production crew. On February 29th, Vincent was unilaterally ousted from Special Identity, sparking the actor’s heated entries on Weibo announcing his intent to spill all “the dirty secrets,” even if it meant career suicide!
Vincent Zhao Acting Like A Big Shot?
A marked departure from his past heroic roles, Vincent Zhao agreed to play a villain in a first-time collaboration with Donnie Yen, who served as Executive Producer and Action Director of Special Identity. Since filming started in early February, rumors circulated that Vincent was acting like a “big shot” on set, possessed a poor attitude, and filmed with a posse of 7 people, which interrupted the filming progress. Allegedly, Vincent got upset over script changes, which may have reduced his screen time, and refused to respond to filming notices earlier. Donnie Yen responded that script changes were normal during the filming process, especially if the intent was to produce a better movie.
On February 29th, the production crew of Special Identity announced in a press release that Vincent Zhao had mutually agreed to step away from the film, citing incompatible perspectives towards creative development. Andy On (安志傑) was rumored to step in for Vincent’s role in Special Identity, a casting change that was estimated to cost the production $6 to $7 million Yuan.
Vincent Zhao Was Threatened To Keep Silent
Apparently, Vincent Zhao was as shocked as the public by his “mutual agreement” to step away from Special Identity. On March 1st, Vincent released a personal statement to dispel the rumors reported in the news. He declared that he loved the script of Special Identity and had looked forward to collaborate with Donnie Yen. Vincent claimed that he had never refused to respond to filming notices and was respectful and collaborative in contributing towards a successful movie.
In addition, Vincent expressed in his personal statement that he and his management company have not agreed to officially resign from Special Identity. It was an unilateral decision made by the film’s production crew. The night prior, Vincent received a rude e-mail from the production crew, asking him to pack his belongings and leave the hotel before 12 noon, on grounds that the crew had “overspent their budgeted funds.” Citing his own respectful and collaborative demeanor over the course of his 20-year career, Vincent declared that he possessed the right to pursue legal action over the media’s reporting of false rumors which affected his reputation, as well as the source who fed the media with the misinformation.
According to Vincent, he was threatened to remain silent over the recent unfolding of events, otherwise he will be put on a “black list”! On his Weibo blog post dated March 12th, Vincent wrote, “I ask that the people who are eager to black list me to courageously step forth! I am waiting for you!”
With his reputation at risk and the support of many industry insiders, such as Yuen Wah (元華) and Yuen Biao (元彪) vouching for his integrity, Vincent decided to reveal his side of the story in an explosive interview, which will be released on Thursday, March 15th. Vincent professed that it was not an easy thing to reveal the truth, but he did not wish to be buried by the increasingly negative gossip.
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Jayne: Wow, explosive statements made by Vincent Zhao. I anticipate hearing about his side of the story in his upcoming interview. There appears to have been a lot of false rumors which were reported in the media earlier as well, perhaps to paint Vincent in a negative light, claiming he didn’t want to play “second fiddle” to Donnie Yen among other claims.