Out of the many thinly-veiled Grand Theft Auto imitators to come to consoles and offer players the opportunity to explore a crime-infested city packed full of interesting supporting characters and a variety of side missions, Sleeping Dogs has to be viewed as one of the best.
The game starred Will Yun Lee as Wi Shen, a former San Francisco cop who returned home to Hong Kong and found himself tasked to infiltrate the Sun On Yee organization, blurring the lines between his double life by taking part in murders, gang wars and mob hits, all while just about remaining on the right side of the law. It was a well-received game that sold millions of copies, and came packing a star-studded voice cast that also featured Tom Wilkinson, Emma Stone, Robin Shou, Lucy Liu and more.
A live-action feature film was announced in March 2017, with martial arts legend Donnie Yen set to play Wei Shen and Fast & Furious veteran Neal Moritz producing. Development has been slow to the point of non-existence, but in a new interview Yen revealed that he’s still hoping to make Sleeping Dogs a reality.
“I’m still hopeful. I mean, every day they tell me it’s going to happen. I’m co-producing and collaborating with Neil Moritz and Toby Ascher, with their company, and currently talking with a couple of big platforms. And they tell me every single day it’s going to happen, so we’ll see. Like I said, I believe in destiny. So, if it’s going to happen, hopefully, it will happen the first half of next year. We’re probably gonna make more of a modern, updated version of Sleeping Dogs.”
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Given that Yen is 58 years old, the narrative might have to be tweaked slightly to suit a leading man who’ll hardly convince as an untried undercover officer, even though he remains in phenomenal shape. Having long since conquered the martial arts genre, Yen has been looking to make his mark in Hollywood over the last few years having appeared in Rogue One, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, the Mulan remake and John Wick: Chapter 4, so perhaps more Stateside visibility will be to ensuring that Sleeping Dogs doesn’t lie much longer.