UPDATE: China Radio International reports that Donnie Yen and fellow Chinese actor Jiang Wen have confirmed that they will be starring in Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One. Here’s a first picture of cast members Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Yen.
Could it be? Is a superstar from our backyard about to become a part of the Star Wars mythos?
An Apple Daily report says martial arts star Donnie Yen, 51, has been cast in Star Wars Episode 8, as a Chinese Jedi who meets Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and becomes his ally. He’s expected to be in London next month to start work on it.
Yen apparently beat eight other actors to the role, including Jet Li, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Wang Lee Hom, Chang Chen, Daniel Wu and Stephen Chow. Apple Daily adds that Yen was cast a month ago, but is bound by a non-disclosure agreement for now.
But while the report has plenty of details, it doesn’t have any sources or official confirmation. So what to make of it then?
First of all, the news isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, given that the likes of Jet Li, Fan Bingbing and our very own Chin Han have all landed major roles in Hollywood productions in recent years.
What’s more, Yen lived in Boston for many years and speaks excellent English. And besides, it wouldn’t be his first rodeo – Yen has starred in the likes of Blade II (2002) and Shanghai Knights (2003).
Secondly, Yen’s martial arts prowess (he’s a choreographer too) is more than suited to the action scenes requisite in a Star Wars movie.
Last of all, the all-important China market would love it! And so would I.
Star Wars: Episode VIII is set for release on May 26, 2017. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens opens on Dec 18.
Meanwhile, it’s time to remind you of Donnie Yen’s awesomeness, occasional weirdly dubbed English notwithstanding.
Do you want to see Donnie Yen in Star Wars Episode 8? Tell us your thoughts!