Just recently, with his appearance in “John Wick: Chapter 4” alongside Keanu Reeves, action star Donnie Yen was able to reach and inspire, alongside his many fans, an audience that otherwise has little contact with the martial arts legend from Hong Kong. The supposed finale of the “John Wick” main series was able to set a new franchise record with 426 million US dollars in worldwide revenues (via Box Office Mojo). Quite a few fans were particularly taken with Donnie Yen’s new character Caine, who provided some truly breathless moments.
For all these new fans, but especially for his loyal following, what the production company Mandarin Films presented at Cannes should cause gasps. Nothing less than sequels to two of his most important and successful action brands were announced via teaser posters: “Ip Man 5” and “Flash Point 2“.
Warning: Spoilers for “Ip Man 4: The Finale” follow.
When the name Donnie Yen is mentioned, not a few people mention Ip Man (alternatively spelled Yip Man) in the same breath. Although Yen’s most famous film series about the life and work of the Wing Chun grandmaster is not the only film adaptation, the 59-year-old martial arts expert is now synonymous with Ip Man, and not just on the big screen. And this despite the fact that there are quite a few film adaptations, including “The Grandmaster,” one by influential filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai starring Hong Kong legend Tony Leung (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”).
Even though the “Ip Man” series sometimes deviates strongly from reality in some respects, Donnie Yen has not only captured the grandmaster well in terms of character – he lost almost 15 kilos for the first film in 2007 in order to get closer to the gaunt martial artist visually as well. During filming, the 1.73 meter tall actor weighed in at just over 50 kilos (via Internet Archive).
There is some surprise in all the joy about a reunion with Yen’s Ip Man: After all, “Ip Man 4: The Finale”, which you can stream on Amazon, ended with the death of the grand master from cancer in December 1972. Many companions paid their last respects to him at his funeral, including his student Bruce Lee, who was to become a legend himself.
Since there is currently no further information about the plot, one can only assume that “Ip Man 5” could be somewhere between “Ip Man 3” and “Ip Man 4”. The period between 1970 and 1972 would also have potential, during which time Bruce Lee returned to Hong Kong with his son Brandon for a visit and was surprised with an unexpected popularity among the population there, who loved his appearances in the US series “The Green Hornet”. Bruce Lee was unable to train at the time due to a back injury. Just before his big break with “Bruce Lee – The Death Fist of Cheng Li,” “Ip Man 5” could possibly deal in a fictional way with his master’s help in his recovery – and Ip Man’s quest to capture all his knowledge on camera.
Ip Man was a man who hated violence and considered martial arts more like art than fighting. On the other hand, these movie characters in the video are some of the absolute deadliest in the action genre.
Flash Point: Resurgence: Donnie Yen in probably his toughest and coolest role
While Donnie Yen demonstrated his acting side with the “Ip Man” films in addition to his gifted skills as an action star and martial arts expert, “Flash Point” from 2007 is a completely different caliber. In this hard-hitting action thriller, Yen plays the culmination of his career in the form of the uber-cool and merciless Detective Yun Ma, who takes on three criminal brothers feared for their brutal methods.
The action and especially the full-contact scenes with mixed-martial-arts elements in “Flash Point”, which were groundbreaking at the time, still cause open mouths and enthusiasm even among colleagues like Scott Adkins. Unmatched! That’s why fans have always wanted a sequel. Now, after more than 16 years, this dream is finally coming true with “Flash Point: Resurgence”.
It is unclear for both productions who is responsible for the script and who is directing. However, since both films are announced as Donnie Yen films on the teaser posters, it can be assumed that he will not only take on the main roles and choreograph the martial arts scenes, but could possibly also take over the direction in each case. (New) fans can be curious about what information there will be in the near future.