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Zack Snyder Approached Rogue One’s Donnie Yen About Aquaman, But Which Role?

Donnie Yen in Rogue One

Superhero movies are arguably the most popular genre in the film world currently, capable of making an insane amount of money at the box office. As such, plenty of studios have gotten in on the action, resulting in plenty of exciting acting gigs. Actor Donnie Yen is starring in the upcoming Mulan remake, and recently stepped into the galaxy far, far away in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story-- but it turns out that he was also approached about a role in Aquaman. What's more, he was recruited by none other than Zack Snyder himself.

Aquaman was directed by James Wan, but the horror visionary didn't get to cast many of its main players. Zack Snyder had that privilege, as he assembled an ensemble cast for Justice League that was meant to set up spinoffs for all of its heroes. Snyder actually approached the legendary Donnie Yen while working on the ill-fated blockbuster. As Yen explained,

Actually I was approached to be in the first Aquaman by Zack Snyder. I think I was in commitment with another film at the time somehow. But we still talked, and I’m still open for any possibility as an actor.

Donnie Yen might not have made his way to the big screen in a superhero role, but he certainly seems open to it. It just so happens that the timing didn't work out with Zack Snyder and presumably a role in Justice League.

Donnie Yen's comments to IGN are sure to confused and excite comic book fans, and likely start a few fan theories in the process. Aquaman's home of Atlantis didn't play a huge role in Justice League, as the villainous Steppenwolf quickly dispatched of Amber Heard's Mera and her forces, acquiring the Mother Box. But there was originally a longer sequence in the infamous #SnyderCut including another another Atlantean character who would appear in Aquaman.

While his role was cut from Justice League, Willem Dafoe did film come limited footage during Zack Snyder's time directing the blockbuster. His character Nuidis Vulko ended up on the cutting room floor, later debuting in Aquaman. So does that mean Snyder may have approached Donnie Yen for the same role? He likely would have been great as Vulko, and likely would have had a different approach than Dafoe.

Donnie Yen's film presence and following make him an asset on any film set, and he's shown his ability with complicated stunt work. So while he didn't end up having a role in Justice League or Aquaman, hopefully he'll eventually get to play another comic book character sometime within the DCEU. Warner Bros. is constantly expanding the property, so seemingly anything could happen.

Donnie Yen can be seen in Mulan on March 27th. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.