Yun-Fat Chow

  1. Simon Yam,  Die xue jie tou  (Bullet in the Head),  Hong Kong, 1990.  The superstar wanted to be Luke. No, said auteur John Woo, he’s not for you, saving him from the same mental  exhaustion suffered by Francis Copppola during Apocalypse Now.  In both cases less from the shooting than the slashing of three-hour genius to much less. Coppola was able to put back the cuts later. Woo figured he’d do that when re-making his film in  Hollywood. That project never happened. Alas.  

  2. John Lone, The Shadow, 1994.    “When we were first trying to get American roles for Chow in the 90s,” said his manager, Terence Chang, “he was offered a lot of bad guys. Hollywood producers don’t understand that the movie audience is much more conservative  in Asia. They regard  Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-Fat as  icons. If one  of them plays a real villain, his career in Asia will be over.”

  3. Gary Dourdan, Alien: Resurrection, 1996.     Change of diversity for Christie from Chinese to Afro-American in the first of four Alien movies to be made Stateside. But with a French réalisateur Jean-Pierre Jeunet. And he never wanted to work in Hollywood again!   Dourdan became a name with  the CSI, TV series, 2000-2008.
  4. Kenneth Cranham, RPM, 1997.     Quentin Tarantino compadre Roger Avary wrote the script – for Chow, Daniel Auteuil, Matt Dillon, Tcheky Karyo, Nastassja Kinski, Dolph Lundgren, Vanessa Paradis, Tom Savini, Terence Stamp – and Avary’s Killing Zoe stars: Jean-Hugues Anglade and Eric Stoltz. He then decided against directing. The producer hired Ian Sharp “and the two guys who did Grumpier Old Men [!?!] to rewrite my script.” Actually, Donald Cammell (using the pseudonym Franklin Brauner), helped out in the year before he died. Avary removed his name from the ensuing mess.
  5. Laurence Fishburne, The Matrix, 1998.      A major error! Everyone passed on Morpheus… Chow, Russell Crowe, Samuel L Jackson, Gary Oldman. Only Fishburne saw the potential. Far from financial at the time.
  6. Steven Brand, The Scorpion King, 2001.  The fact that Memnon  in The Mummy’s prequel penned for Chow shocked his manager.  “But don’t you know that Chow never plays villains, his fans would be horrified.”  (He could have been talking about  Jackie Chan).  “Of course I turned it down.  To support The …  who is  not yet an actor!”
  7. Wesley Snipes, Gallowwalkers, 2006.  You never forget the man who kills you for the first time..”  Blade Goes West! Except it isn’t that good. Like its vampires, the film refused to die. Except on-screen. Jodorowsky wannabe Andrew Goth nearly cooked his gothic spaghetti in New Mexico, as The Wretched,during the the summer of 2005. With Chow as the cursed gunfighter Rellick (get it?)  or Aman (get it?) when Snipes played him  in the Namibian  desert before going to jail on for  tax evasion in 2006. (Consequently, his narration is by a sound-alike).  



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Chow Yun-FatCasting Calls:  7