John Wick director Chad Stahelski opened up about Donnie Yen’s fighting style in the film.
During an interview with RogerEbert.com, the filmmaker said boxer Sugar Ray Leonard inspires the Ip Man star’s fistic moves.
“He’s a huge Sugar Ray Leonard fan; he’s put that in ‘Flashpoint,’ and he’s put that in a lot of his films. Funny thing, I had lunch with Donnie yesterday. We brought that up a lot. A lot of his hometown audiences don’t really know who Sugar Ray Leonard was in China, so they don’t get that cool reference.”
Stahelski said Yen also added Leonard’s signature on Ip Man punch in the movie.
“[Yen] said, ‘Hey man, I’m going to do an Ip Man, I’m gonna do a straight blast and speed punch,’ and then Donnie started laughing. ‘I don’t know why, I just feel like I need to do this.’ So I’m like, ‘All right, do it, let’s shoot it, let’s see if we like it.’ And he shoots it, and everybody behind the camera starts laughing. He’s so****** fast.”