"Special Identity" Fallout Has HK/China Film Industry Picking Sides: Team Vincent [Zhao] or Team Donnie [Yen]? Choose Wisely

Posted 4:34 PM March 30th, 2012 by Senh Duong
Donnie Yen vs. Vincent Zhao

I tried not getting into the behind-the-scenes mud throwing between Vincent Zhao, Donnie Yen, and the production company behind “Special Identity.” I only did reports when I felt like there were actual news regarding the film’s production, leaving much of the “he said, she said” for gossip sites. Now, it's just too darn entertaining not to report on it.

The fallout from "Special Identity" has ensnared entertainers in the HK/China film industry and divided them. It all started after Vincent Zhao accused Donnie Yen of pulling the strings behind the scenes to oust him from the film. He also accused Yen of being bossy, difficult and abusive on the set, swearing at the director and crew.

Shortly after Zhao’s press conference, Team Vincent graffitied Yen’s Weibo (China’s Twitter) account with negative comments. The moderators at Weibo subsequently froze Yen’s account and deleted the comments.

Yen’s director, cinematographer, and co-producer came out to defend his character, professionalism and work ethic. It’s all sounded like it was written by a PR person, of course because no one talks like that. Nonetheless, I don’t doubt their support, just saying...

At this point, I was on Team Donnie. Yen was the one who recommended Zhao to his producers. Sure, he made some changes to the script, but that kind of stuff happens regularly in the freewheeling method of filmmaking in Hong Kong. It can be worked out.

I then switched to Team Vincent after the producer’s conference where he complained about Zhao’s request to upgrade his hotel. The movie cost $20M, a hotel upgrade can’t make that much of a dent on that, right?

Shi Qi

Shu Qi, known here in the states as the damsel in distress in “The Transporter,” showed her support for her “Legend of the Fist: The Legend of Chen Zhen” co-star on Weibo. Team Vincent retaliated by posting nudie pictures of her from her soft-core porn days on the comment sections of her account. Qi was quite upset by this because she had worked hard to put that part of her career behind her. She closed her Weibo account as a result. Her ten million followers will have track her elsewhere.

Many in the industry came out to support Qi, spawning Team Shu. That includes “God of Gamblers” director Wong Jing who went on to delete all comments on his account as a silent protest. Feng Xiaogang, who directed her in China’s highest grossing romantic comedy “If You Are The One 2,” Chinese tweeted: “If I scold you of behaving like an animal, I’m humiliating the animals.” Ouch.

At this point, I’m on Team Shu. Poor girl. She inadvertently got caught up by this controversy. Some people on the internet are just really mean.

Also on Team Shu are Vincent Zhao and Donnie Yen. Yeah, I know this is mind-boggling - Team Vincent and Team Donnie joining a team that was spawned by them.

Zhao wants Team Vincent to know that Qi is “innocent” and has nothing to do with his firing. Yen, being Yen, invited those “bullies” to try and bully him at his Weibo account. I’m guessing he’s gonna take on the first ten ala the dojo scene in “Ip Man,” and then the rest ala a similar dojo scene in “Legend of the Fist.”

"Legend of the Fist: The Legend of Chen Zhen" End Fight:

At this point, I’m back on Team Donnie. When he’s taking on a bunch of bullies, I’m always on his side … watching and being entertained, that is.

Let’s just hope the actual movie is this dramatic, epic, and entertaining - with friendships being broken and tested, people choosing sides, and ending in one big battle where Yen takes on everybody. That’ll be a pretty good movie.

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