Donnie Yen asked the director of John Wick 4 to change the character’s name

“Why can’t he have a normal name?” Yen asked. “Why do you have to be so general?”

Donnie Yen didn’t want to perpetuate “generic” sounding stereotypes on screen.

The “John Wick: Chapter 4” star revealed that he asked Chad Stahelski to change his character’s name to a more “normal” moniker of Caine.

“The name was Shang or Chang,” Yen said GQ. “Why does he always have to be called Shang or Chang? Why can’t he have a normal name? Why does it have to be so general?”

And the proposed changes didn’t just stop at the character’s name: Yen asked the “John Wick” team to reimagine his role on a sartorial level.

“And then the closet again—oh, mandarin collar.” Why is everything so common? It’s a “John Wick” movie. Everyone should be cool and fashionable,” said Yen. “Why can’t you look cool and fashionable?”

With Stahelski’s approval, Yen turned Caine’s character into an homage to Bruce Lee. “Overall, I enjoyed making the film,” he said, adding that it was “a very respectful experience working on John Wick.”

Similarly, Best Actress nominee Michelle Yeoh shared in December 2022 that she almost walked out of ‘Everything Everywhere All at once’ because of her lead character’s name. Under Variety Actors on Actors seriesYeoh said she didn’t like the name Michelle Wang because of her character.

“The only thing I said (to the Daniels directors) was, ‘The character can’t be called Michelle Wang.’ They say, “But why? You are that.” Yeoh said. “I say, ‘No, I’m not an Asian immigrant mother who runs a laundromat. You need your own voice. That was the only thing. I used to say, if you don’t change your name, I won’t come in.

The name was replaced by Evelyn Wang.

Both Yeoh and Yen have extensive real-world martial arts experience. Ahead of his first film in the “John Wick” franchise, Yen brings decades of expertise in martial arts, including Japanese karate and Korean taekwondo.

“John Wick: Chapter 4” stunt coordinator and second unit director Scott Rogers teased Total Film that Yen “brings master-level fighting skills” to his films, meaning he’s “not an actor who needs to be trained for every single fight. He is a great actor who is also a skilled fighter. His ability to develop choreography with his own creativity is world-class. Add that to the many years of John Wick training that Keanu Reeves has put in and you have something very special.”

Yen’s co-star Keanu Reeves added that the fourth installment “has the most action of any of the (‘John Wick’) films, which is saying a lot. He added: “Rather by a good margin. It’s a big show.”

For all the details on ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’, click here.

Register: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Subscribe to our email newsletter here.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *