What seemed to be a major anticipation for MA action film fans – when it was announced that Donnie would collaborate with fellow MA action star Vincent Zhao on the film – turned into a big mess as rumors were circulating that both were being difficult towards each other on set as well as other rumors of the film crew mistreating Zhao and blaming him for misbehavior. Then the situation got out of hand when Zhao publicly accused Donnie for his poor attitude and gruesome work ethics working on the film. This resulted in Donnie backfiring these claims by threatening to sue Zhao for defamation. Add to that, the film crew retaliated against Zhao by giving their own statements of how Zhao’s poor actions on set and reasons for terminating their contract with him. While this was ongoing, celebrities outside the feud starting taking sides. Among those who gave/give their support to Donnie were/are Kara Hui, Chapman To, Leon Lai, directors Andrew Lau and Wong Jing, and Shu Qi. For some of them, bad luck struck them in form of attacks on their micro-blogs which has led these blogs being deleted. Shu Qi, in particular, had to shut her blog down due to attacks by blog users (or so called “Netizens”) after voicing her support for Donnie. Donnie and Zhao openly commented on cyber violence in blogs and both personally apologized to Qi for their actions getting her involved. As of now, Zhao has even admitted that he’s getting tired of the scandal and wants it to end very soon so that he can get back to living a normal life.
Anyway, since Zhao’s departure Donnie didn’t waste any time and immediately approached Andy On to play a new role (early reports suggested that he was to fill in Zhao’s part but was later clarified) in the film which would include him fighting Donnie in a 10 min fight scene. There have been mixed feelings about Andy’s involvement of whether or not he can deliver in terms of pure onscreen fighting. But don’t get your hopes lost just yet. As of yesterday, Mtime (through Sina Entertainment) confirmed that Collin Chou has joined the cast. It turns out that Chou was already invited to co-star in the film back in October last year but due to schedule conflicts he had to turn down the offer. Whether or not he was supposed to play Zhao’s role is unknown. His involvement is currently being negotiated and the role he’s playing will be announced very soon. For those of you that are familiar with Chou, you should know that he’s no stranger to awesomely staged fight scenes in Hong Kong action films. Special Identity marks his third time collaborating with Donnie – their first time being in the 1999 Taiwanese low-budget actioner City of Darkness and Flash Point made in 2007. Check out some videos of his incredible MA skills.