Expendables 2: Jet li Out Donnie Yen In?
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First of all, a quick disclaimer - We are not being racist in the description above. Shame on you those who drew an inference!....
Now, although it's not official, it appears that due to scheduling difficulties Li will not be returning for Sylvester Stallone's action ensemble sequel and Yen is currently on tap to be the replacement.
Jet Li is reportedly turning down the opportunity to co-star in the upcoming sequel to the blockbuster action throwback but hasn't given a specific reason as to why. It's likely due to scheduling conflicts though as the Expendables sequel is gearing up to begin filming this October in Bulgaria.
At one point producer Avi Lerner reached out to Donnie Yen (IP Man), but things didn't immediately move anywhere. Now comes word that an offer has officially been made and Yen is interested in taking the role. He's currently busy with other projects, but has agreed to take a look at the script and will make a decision soon after.
Losing Li means losing Hong Kong's action ambassador, so a replacement is required - and Donnie Yen is a perfect choice. Although he may not be a household name, any true action fan is well aware of the Yen, and his unbelievably martial arts skills - even at the age of 48! He is without a doubt one of the best martial arts stars of this generation, and has also come along way from his early days as an actor. Just watch his character die after a gruelling fight with Jet Li in Once Upon a Time In China (see end of clip)
Notwithstanding this, Donnie Yen starred in some excellent movies, most notably Kill Zone, Ip man, and the recent Swordsman which is garnering rave reviews. Expendables would be an excellent way to for him to get more mainstream fame. Question remains however, when it comes to awesome actions scenes, will he take back seat to Jason Statham, as the others did on the original? I hope not.
The Expendables 2 is directed by Simon West (The Mechanic) and stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Jean Claude Van Damme and Bruce Willis. It hits theaters August 17th.
Are you a fan of Donnie Yen? Would you prefer another Asian star?
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