Donnie Yen has been having a pretty good year. The 53-year-old action star and fight choreographer recently co-starred in blockbusters Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. He also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last December. With nowhere to go but up, he’s now moving on to a whole new franchise, Neal Moritz’s Sleeping Dogs.
Based on the top-selling game of the same name from Square Enix, the film will follow a policeman (Yen) who sets out on a mission to take down the Triads, one of the world’s most notorious and dangerous criminal organizations. The game involves martial arts, racing, boat chases, and lots of shooting, so expect the same from the film once it is released. Of course, this is nothing that Yen, a renowned martial artist, can’t handle. Yen is no stranger to franchise films either. Rogue One and xXx aside, he is best known for the long-running IP Man franchise.
As reported by Deadline, the film will be produced by Neal H. Mortiz’s Original Films and DJ2 Entertainment. Moritz is best known for producing the wildly successful Fast & Furious franchise, as well as the 21 Jump Street reboot — though it’s the former that will likely serve as a better indicator of how the Sleeping Dogs adaptation is going to turn out on film.
This is welcome news for fans of Yen. Already a beloved leading man in China, both Rogue One and xXx 3 helped push him into the spotlight for a wider American audience. The only hurdle in the actor’s path is overcoming the ever-struggling video game adaptation curse. Most films inspired by video games have had a tough time impressing fans and critics alike, with the latest high-profile effort, Assassin’s Creed stumbling in both respects late last year. However, the casting of a respected actor like Yen gives this film an edge, but Sleeping Dogs still has a long way to go if it wants to be the first video game movie to hit it big in the way comic book films have.
Even with the specter of video game adaptations of the past hanging over it, it’s easy to agree that more Yen is a good thing. So far, there is no news on a release date, but Screen Rant will keep you updated on the film as more details are made available. .