'Star Wars' Rumors: Is Donnie Yen Joining the Universe? Is 'Rogue One' Already Filming?

'Star Wars' Rumors: Is Donnie Yen Joining the Universe? Is 'Rogue One' Already Filming?

Jul 06, 2015

Donnie Yen Ip Man

There's no grand mystery why the Chinese box office is playing an increasingly important part in the movie industry. Over one billion potential audience members live there and they're understandably more likely to see a big Hollywood movie if it's set in China or has a Chinese star in its cast somewhere. A new rumor has it that even movies set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away are paying attention.

Twitch Film, which specializes in covering the international movie scene, picked up on a local rumor that Chinese megastar Donnie Yen (Ip Man) would be joining the cast of the Rian Johnson-directed Star Wars: Episode VIII. They admitted that the source of the rumor was somewhat tabloid-y in nature, but that the rumor was worth sharing because it fit with something they'd been hearing themselves: Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One was also currently trying to cast a Chinese star.

So here we have one source saying Yen is in Episode VIII and another, more reliable source saying that they'd at least heard Rogue One was actively trying to cast a Chinese star. The truth may just be a combination of the two. If Yen is cast, it was probably for the spin-off film about the stealing of the Death Star's blueprints. Either way, it'd be great news. Not just for Star Wars' box office overseas, but because Yen is a killer action star and remarkably charismatic on screen. He hasn't spent too much time in Hollywood productions (he steals all of his scenes in Blade II), so he's still a new face to many. That is if we even get to see his face.

Yen could be playing a motion capture alien or he could be brought in purely for the stunt work, which is said to be the case with The Raid star Iko Uwais, who we know did some stunt work on The Force Awakens. Between his casting and this Donnie Yen rumor, it certainly seems like Star Wars is realizing that magic happens when you hire actual badasses to do your badass fight scenes.

If you're unfamiliar with Yen and are wondering what he might bring to a war movie, you should probably watch the opening scene of Legend of the First: The Return of Chen Zhen:

In other Star Wars talk, we already knew that Disney was going to begin filming Rogue One later this year, but according to a dedicated fansite with some sources close to the production, the Gareth Edwards-directed movie has actually already been filming for nearly a month. It's not the core of the production, but rather some action scenes involving star Felicity Jones that repurposed some sets from The Force Awakens to turn them into the hallways of the original Death Star. And supposedly they've also already begun filming a big sequence involving air and ground combat in a jungle setting and will continue that shoot in a more jungle heavy environment later, like Venezuela.

Of course it shouldn't matter too much to average fans when a movie starts filming, but it's worth mentioning here because if they're going to start filming action scenes a month before the rest of the movie, it's a good indication that they're giving themselves plenty of time to complete the visual effects in post-production. At least we hope that's the case. Either way, it's strangely exciting to image that right now, somewhere on Earth, actors are running around the Death Star for a new movie.

 

Categories: In Development, Rumors
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