Donnie Yen is as busy as any action hero working today, and it seems he has essentially announced the bulk of his slate of projects for the next few years at the Cannes Film Festival.
While one such project “Misjudgement” is sure to draw attention with Donnie on-board, the real eye-catchers were the other two announced with it – namely “Ip Man 5” and “Flash Point: Resurgence”!
Flash Point and Ip Man are Milestones in Donnie Yen’s Career
His 2007 follow-up “Flash Point” went even further into the MMA realm, cementing MMA-style action into the Hong Kong film industry and the world at large – to say nothing of delivering one of the best martial arts movie fights of the 21st century in Donnie’s final showdown with Collin Chou.
2008’s “Ip Man” stands as an equally significant chapter in Donnie’s career and for the martial arts genre, with Donnie portraying the legendary Wing Chun Grandmaster Ip Man, known the world over as the mentor of Bruce Lee.
As he did with his MMA fights in “Sha Po Lang” and “Flash Point”, Donnie pushed the standards of action even further with the movie’s incredible Wing Chun-driven fight scenes. “Ip Man” would spawn three sequels and a spin-off, “Master Z: Ip Man Legacy”, though the ending of 2019’s “Ip Man 4: The Finale” raises some pretty obvious questions for “Ip Man 5”.
What Exactly will Ip Man 5 be About?
The “Ip Man” movie series covers much of the life of Ip Man himself, with “Ip Man 4: The Finale” concluding with Ip Man passing away and Bruce Lee (Danny Chan) attending his funeral.
That, and the fact that “Ip Man 4” openly declared itself “The Finale” upfront, makes the announcement of “Ip Man 5”, while exciting, also a bit of a head-scratcher. Presumably, “Ip Man 5” will be an interquel of sorts, taking place between some of the major events of the “Ip Man” movies, and there are numerous possibilities for it.
One could be showing Ip Man’s relationship with Bruce Lee in more depth, the series having mostly kept their training off-screen, and Bruce himself not even becoming a significant character until “Ip Man 4”.
“Ip Man 5” could also take place after the ending of “Ip Man 4”, but before Ip Man’s funeral, or in any similar gap between the “Ip Man” movies.
Ip Man might even cross paths with Cheung Tin-chi (Max Zhang) once more in “Ip Man 5”, the two this time forming a heroic team-up. While there is plenty to speculate upon with the direction “Ip Man 5” will take, “Flash Point: Resurgence” could have a wild card of its own.
Scott Adkins in Flash Point: Resurgence?
Following the announcement of Donnie’s upcoming movies at the Cannes Film Festival, Donnie shared the poster art on his Instagram, which drew a comment from none other than Scott Adkins commenting “Oh yes!”. This led to Donnie replying with “U joining?”, with Scott responding “For the sequel to one of the best and most innovative action martial arts films of all time? Ready when you are.” (See the exchange here, courtesy of Matthew Essary on Twitter).
The idea of Scott Adkins joining Donnie Yen in “Flash Point: Resurgence” would obviously be a dream come true for martial arts fans, and the coy nature of Scott and Donnie’s exchange might even suggest the handshake has already happened. Of course, there is already a sparkling example of what a Donnie Yen-Scott Adkins double header looks like.
That, of course, is “Ip Man 4: The Finale”, in which Scott portrays the villainous Gunnery Sergeant Barton Geddes (Donnie even directly asked for Scott to join the film). Donnie and Scott’s final showdown in “Ip Man 4” is one of the best fights in the whole “Ip Man” franchise, so seeing them bring the same magic to the MMA action of “Flash Point: Resurgence” would instantly make the sequel that much more electrifying.
Donnie Yen is Keeping Busy
The announcement of “Misjudgement”, “Ip Man 5”, and “Flash Point: Resurgence” comes on the heels of Donnie’s break-out role as Caine in “John Wick: Chapter 4”. Widely hailed as one of the best characters in the movie, there has been talk, including on Donnie’s part, of a Caine spin-off from “John Wick: Chapter 4” (with the movie’s end-credits scene making a pretty overt tease of that).
While a Caine spin-off has not been officially announced, Donnie both joining the John Wick franchise and having multiple other big projects on the docket is testimony to his drive and prolific eagerness to continually re-invigorate fight choreography in martial arts films.
With Donnie Yen nearing 60, he’s not even coming close to slowing down, and if anything is speeding up the next few years of action-packed projects on his dance card.
Lovers of action will surely await updates on “Misjudgement”, “Ip Man 5”, “Flash Point: Resurgence”, and the “John Wick” franchise’s Caine spin-off with glee, and each could well be among the best martial arts films of the next few years if their predecessors and their leading man are any indication!