The veteran filmmaker and actor is in Singapore to promote his latest wuxia blockbuster, Sakra

When it comes to Hong Kong stars, Donnie Yen is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable ones out there. After all, Yen has been in the industry for almost four decades, starring in various films including Ip Man, John Wick: Chapter 4, and Mulan, with his latest being Sakra.

Set to be in theatres from January 16, the upcoming film is an adaptation of famous Chinese novelist Louis Cha’s wuxia classic, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils. Directed by and starring Yen himself, the adaptation focuses on Qiao Feng, one of the three protagonists of the novel.

His publicity tour started in Singapore, on January 12, where he held a press conference sharing more about the creation of the blockbuster.

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Above Donnie Yen sharing about his newest wuxia project at a press conference in Singapore.

“To me, it’s always impossible to tell Cha’s stories in a movie format. Unlike a tv series, which can put a focus on different characters in different episodes, the duration of a movie is too short for that… it would not allow me to do any justice to the story” he shares.

The star also added that there were multiple angles which he had to consider before deciding to focus on Qiao Feng.

“I didn’t want to just do another remake as there are so many out there—it has been done so many times. So, I focused on the character of Qiao Feng and his attractive characteristics,” continues Yen.

Above Movie trailer of Sakra

The film’s latest teaser features adrenaline-pumping fighting sequences, ending with Qiao Feng the Eighteen Subduing Dragon Palms, known as one of the most powerful martial arts of the Beggar’s Sect (fictional martial arts organisation featured in various wuxia fiction).  

“I wanted to find a balance between keeping Qiao Feng’s classic characteristics and looking at the bigger picture. At the end of the day, I want to make a film that can resonate with everyone, even those who have not read the novel.”

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Donnie Yen at a meet-and-greet session with fans in Singapore
Above Donnie Yen at a meet-and-greet session with fans in Singapore
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Donnie Yen at a meet-and-greet session with fans in Singapore
Above Donnie Yen at a meet-and-greet session with fans in Singapore

Yen also shares how he hopes the film will make the audience “feel something”. Regardless of whether we view the film positively or negatively, he merely wants us to “feel the impact of the movie”.

Yes shares, “You can’t expect to please everybody. I do expect controversy, but I look at it positively. If my movies have no effect on the industry, then I might as well not make it.”

Sakra opens in cinemas on Jan 16.

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