Before throwing fists in John Wick 4, actors Donnie Yen and Scott Adkins first came to blows in the Ip Man series finale. Both actors have redefined the niche skill of martial arts and choreographed fight sequences in mainstream Hollywood over the years, especially with Yen transitioning from the ’90s Hong Kong action films and packing a punch in movies ranging from Blade II to Mulan to Star Wars: Rogue One.
However, what stands out the most from his illustrious career is Yen headlining the coveted and acclaimed Ip Man film series which ran for over a decade from 2008 to 2019 (yes, the very same period spanning the course of Infinity Saga).
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Donnie Yen and Scott Adkins Have a Showdown in Ip Man 4
Donnie Yen’s extensive filmography which covered the expanse of an incredible array of Hong Kong action films and Hollywood blockbusters still only boils down to his one great masterpiece: the Ip Man franchise. The actor not only crushed his performance in the Hong Kong biographical martial arts film but the films have also been critically deemed as his career best. As such, the finale of the long-running film series would need a worthy opponent to tie up the franchise with a blast.
It has been said that Yen personally had a hand in choosing who to bring on board the final film as its primary antagonist: a force worthy of matching the grandmaster of Wing Chun, Ip Man himself. And that opponent was found in the form of Hollywood action nerd, Scott Adkins. In an interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Adkins revealed:
“I believe Donnie Yen asked for me. He said to the production, ‘Get Scott Adkins for this role.’ So they did and I was happy to oblige. It means a lot to me that he specifically asked for me. I’m a huge fan of Donnie Yen, always have been, for a long, long time. He’s one of the best to ever do it.
Actually, he was the last person on the bucket list, the wish list of people to work with so being able to do that was perfect really. I’ve worked with everyone else and he specifically asked for me. I’m a big fan of the franchise so I was very, very happy to oblige.”
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With the 2019 film tying up the saga of the legendary master of martial arts, Yen and Adkins soon reunited once more as the blind assassin and the ruthless killer against Keanu Reeves’ John Wick in the franchise’s fourth installment. Rumors of a follow-up spin-off project on Yen’s character, Caine, have recently gathered some steam, given how the fate of the film’s titular hero looks to have come to an end.
Yen & Adkins: Conquering Hollywood One Fight at a Time
While the world woke up to witness the dawn of a new era in Hollywood with the 2008 film Iron Man, elsewhere a new revolution began with Donnie Yen’s first Ip Man installment that launched the same year. A decade later, Hollywood was a changed industry. By the time 2019 came around, not only did CBM franchises redefine the entertainment business, but Donnie Yen single-handedly revolutionized the face of martial arts in cinema from the sidelines with his Ip Man film series.
Also read: John Wick 4 Star Scott Adkins on Wearing a Fatsuit, Fighting Keanu Reeves and Absolutely Nailing the Role: “Quite the rigamarole… But worth it”
Elsewhere, a talent equally volatile and noteworthy turned some heads for his work with the likes of Jackie Chan, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, and Sylvester Stallone. Scott Adkins made a name in the industry for his commendable fight sequences with his appearances alongside Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum and Jason Statham in The Expendables 2.
Adkins’ latest work in John Wick 4 as the vicious assassin, Killa, has garnered immense praise and landed him another bucket list role by collaborating with Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski on the highly-acclaimed action franchise.
Ip Man 4: The Finale is available for streaming on Prime Video and iTunes. John Wick: Chapter 4 is playing in theatres worldwide.
Source: Showbiz Cheat Sheet