Donnie Yen to Play a Chinese Mexican Drug Kingpin in ‘Golden Empire’

It's the first cartel film to star an Asian lead.

donnie yen

Actor Donnie Yen will produce and star in “Golden Empire,” a crime thriller centered on a notorious drug kingpin wanted by the U.S. and Mexican governments.

The film is set to explore the complexities of the Chinese Mexican character, who hits the top of the most wanted list in both countries.

Image via Donnie Yen and Bullets Film (CC BY 4.0)

Yen will produce the film with Peter Luo, chief executive officer at Starlight Media whose credits include “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.”

Luo thought of Yen as the perfect lead after seeing his performance in the 2017 movie “Chasing the Dragon,” in which he also played a real-life gangster.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Donnie Yen 甄子丹 (@donnieyenofficial) on

“The talents of Donnie are undeniable and will be utilized in every imaginable way to bring this epic story to life,” Luo said, according to Deadline. “Spanning the continents of Asia, North America and South America, ‘Golden Empire’ is really the first major narco film with an Asian lead that plays to global audiences. Showcasing diversity in cinema, while retaining authenticity, has always been a primary focus of ours, and this unique and fascinating story is representative of our mandate.”

The film is said to showcase the inner turmoil of Yen’s character, who happens to be “one of the world’s most successful multinational drug lords.”

Yen most recently starred in “Ip Man 4: The Finale.” He plays Commander Tung in Disney’s live-action remake of “Mulan,” which hits theaters on Aug. 21.

Over the weekend, he also teased working on the theatrical adaptation of “Sleeping Dogs,” a 2012 video game developed by United Front Games and published by Square Enix. He will star as main character Wei Shen, an undercover police officer who infiltrates the Hong Kong triads, according to Variety.

Feature Image via Getty

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: info@nextshark.com