Donnie Yen: "I Still Have A Little Fire Left In Me"

Well that was pretty quick. Nevertheless it was also quite necessary, especially when talk of retirement for a fan-favorite film actor comes into play, and especially if said actor is martial arts action star Donnie Yen.

Still with a few films left through 2016, Yen is currently making the rounds to promote his latest kung fu threequel, Ip Man 3, and with respect to past statements, also acknowledging it as his last martial arts film. That said, Yen graced readers of South China Morning Post with a little clarity in a recent article published on Monday.

"I still have a lot of fire in me to make contemporary action movies," Yen states. "They’re different from kung fu movies because the fights are not as protracted. But it’s still a form of expression for martial arts. I really want to keep going in this regard. I still have a lot of ideas on the creative side."

Yen made the statements otherwise confirming that he would still like to star in movies that focused more on films for global audiences, adding earlier "I will put more of a focus on foreign films in the future."

Topics like these always tend to draw concern from fans along with heavy speculation unless clarified. Jackie Chan is still making daring action films even after mingling with retirement rhetoric in the last several years and time will tell if actress and The Grandmaster co-star Zhang Ziyi is really done with martial arts films despite her positions last year.

The same goes for Yen who, in response to a question during a recent interview at Time Out Hong Kong regarding Ip Man 3, said "It’s definitely intended to be my last one, but you know, we can’t predict what’s going on in the future, right?", before adding "I have every intention in my mind that it’s going to be my last martial arts movie. It’s really hard. As an actor, I want to move on. I understand that the world changes, so I can’t guarantee ‘never’, but I definitely consider this is my last heroic martial arts kung fu movie."

Yen broke out in the 80's with his debut, Drunken Tai-Chi under the lens of Yuen Woo-Ping who he still works with to this day while seeing a mild Hollywood crossover in films like Highlander: Endgame and Blade 2. Among other titles, Yen earned his accumulating fanbase while largely spreading the Gospel and molding himself as an action director for films and shows like The Princess Blade, Stormbreaker and German action series, Der Puma.

Nowadays his career has long seen a resurgence in Hong Kong since bringing the genre back to its roots in Wilson Yip's 2005 crimebuster, SPL, in addition to other titles spanning other genres. With that in mind, as Yen comes to a potential close with Ip Man 3 based on the life and legend of the iconic martial arts purveyor and grandmaster, Yen is also keen on remaining as flexible as possible, further adding, "Will I make another Ip Man? Possibly. I may take back my word on retiring from kung fu movies if I can make them in English."

This may not necessarily mean an Ip Man film in English - I highly doubt it. However, with so many more titles having been announced in the past including Dragon City, Enter The Master, Wesley, The Seven Fortunes and Daming Chen's Noodle Man, chances are at least one or a few of these titles may finally come to pass, if not others; Perhaps this even leaves a little room for Troy Nixey's Priority Run since it was announced in 2013.

At any rate, more Yen is on the way, so let's hope that fire stays burning after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in 2016.

Ip Man 3 is releasing throughout Hong Kong and Asia starting Thursday.


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