Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Terence Pang-Yen Dunn ’76, the website of Terence Pang-Yen Dunn ’76, says he teaches martial arts for “health, longevity, and self-defense.” It’s apparently that last goal prompting Dunn to file suit this week against DreamWorks Animation, claiming the Shrek-meisters stole his idea for Kung Fu Panda. In case you missed it, that was a 2008 Jack Black/Dustin Hoffman/Angelina Jolie vehicle that grossed $632 million and spawned a video game and an upcoming TV series and movie sequel.

Dunn alleges that he pitched a movie idea to DreamWorks execs in 2001 and 2002, based on his kung-fu-fighting character Zen-Bear, about a panda who “fulfills his destiny as a martial hero and spiritual avatar… by leading his friends to save the inhabitants of peaceful Plum Flower Village.” DreamWorks said no thanks, then went ahead and made the movie, the suit says.

A self-described “pioneer” in the practice of using Chinese martial arts in Western medicine and sports, Dunn holds a bachelor’s in biology from Yale and a Harvard MBA and has studied with numerous masters of classical Chinese martial arts. But if you believe his suit—and a reporter thinks his “story seems within reason”—he still lacks a black belt in self-promotion.

Filed under martial arts, movies, film, lawsuit
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