Donnie Yen Identified Asian Stereotypes in ‘John Wick 4,’ Prompting Rewrites!
Donnie Yenis will definitely point out stereotypes when he encounters them.
After the likes of Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Bruce Lee, Yen is the most recent Asian action actor to achieve Hollywood success. After acting in blockbusters like Disney’s live-action Mulan and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Yen will shortly make an appearance in John Wick 4 as Caine, an old buddy of Wick who is likely to play a significant role in the plot of the main character.
The actor recently admitted to GQ that he is highly picky about the projects he accepts. The 59-year-old will not play “generic” roles in Hollywood if they do not respect his Chinese culture. Yen added that Chad Staheleski, the film’s director, had to make some adjustments because at first, his character Caine didn’t fit all of his criteria.
Shang or Chang was the name. Why must he continually be referred to as Chang or Shang? How come he can’t have a regular name? Why must you be so impersonal? Then, back to the closet: oh, mandarin collars. Why are things always so similar? A John Wick flick, this is. Everyone is expected to be hip and stylish. Why is it that he can’t seem hip and stylish? added Yen.
Yen undoubtedly has a point, and as seen by the actor’s appearance in the John Wick 4 marketing materials sporting a pair of oversized sunglasses and a black suit (no Mandarin collars! ), Caine is dressed stylishly and coolly like the other John Wick characters.
We applaud Staheleski for being willing to adapt and eliminate preconceptions in response to Yen’s request, but there is one significant problem that we still see: How is it not a stereotype in and of itself for a Hong Kong action star to play a blind martial arts expert in Hollywood films?
On March 24, John Wick: Chapter 4 will be released in theatres.