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Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai‘s latest film, The Grandmasters, recently released a second trailer – 18 months after filming started and 10 years after the director conceived the movie. The one-minute trailer, set on a street, on a dark, rainy night, depicts a battle between lead actor Tony Leung and about 20 kungfu artists. In a black gown and white hat, Leung transforms his signature gentlemanly manners to kick and punch like a street fighter. The scene is a nod to Keanu Reeves in The Matrix and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight. The film’s first trailer, released in December 2010, is just a play of light, shadow and Chinese calligraphy, without any actors. Leung plays the late kungfu master Ip Man, known for his wing chun style, a form of Chinese martial arts. Leung, the Lust, Caution and In the Mood for Love star, practiced wing chun for about two years. A disciple of Ip trained him and even adjusted his diet. Ip has been a favored topic of the Chinese film industry in recent years. There have been at least three films about the legendary martial artist, whose students included Bruce Lee. The most popular incarnation of the martial arts legend is by Donnie Yen, star of Iron Monkey and The New Dragon Gate Inn. In two Ip biopics, Yen portrays the kungfu master as a loving husband and passionate patriot. Wong’s film will not focus just on Ip, but a group of kungfu masters of his time. He has put together a stellar cast, including Zhang Ziyi, South Korean star Song Hye-kyo, comedian Zhao Benshan and his protg Xiao Shenyang. Though kungfu fans have been looking forward to the release of the film for some time, Wong has prolonged shooting, as he often does. Leung even took a break to take the lead in another movie, The Great Magician, which will be released in December. Sil-Metropole Organization, the film’s production company, says filming has been completed and the director is working on post-production. But a release date has still not been given.
Director Wong Kar Wai’s upcoming Kung Fu blockbuster, “The Grandmasters,” recently released its first promotional trailer.
Tony Leung Chiu Wai portrays Yip Man, master of the Wing Chun martial art, and is seen in the trailer fighting against a gang of street thugs. It’s the first time for Tony Leung to play the role of a Kung Fu master but his performance has received much acclaim following the release of the preview. Audiences commented that, “Leung is very cool in the movie.”
The real Kung Fu master, Wang Man also said he was surprised after seeing the trailer: “I never thought Leung could be that good. The power of his movement shows that this is a person who can manage real Kung Fu.”
Director Wong Kar Wai arrived in Beijing to arrange the preview of the trailer. Xue Liming, spokesman for the movie, unveiled the reason behind showing the trailer prior to the screening of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, saying that cinemas will upgrade their equipment for increased sound and screen light performance. “We want the audience to experience the best visual and sound effects possible during the preview.”
Xue also mentioned that the movie is set against the backdrop of the Kung Fu world during the Republican Period. There will be other Kung Fu masters and schools making appearances in the movie.
“The Grandmasters” also features South Korean actress Song Hye Kyo and Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi. It has been slated for a December release.
Xue promises that “The Grandmasters” will set a new standard for Chinese film.
Posted in Chang Chen, News, Photos, Song Hye Kyo, The Grand Master, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Trailers, Wong Kar Wai, Yuen Woo Ping, Zhang Ziyi, Zhao Benshan
Fortissimo Films has sold Wong Kar-wai’s hotly-anticipated martial arts epic ‘The Grandmasters’ to Gaga Corporation for Japan.
Fortissimo is handling select territories retained by Wong’s Jet Tone Films, including Japan, Korea and India, while Fortissimo chairman Michael J. Werner is serving as associate producer and consultant. The deal was brokered by Fortissimo’s executive vice president, Sales and Acquisitions, Winnie Lau with Gaga chairman Tom Yoda and operating officer for acquisition Satomi Odake.
Wong said “In my conversations with Yoda-san and his team, I came to recognise the tremendous appreciation and passion that they had for my work and for this genre, we are pleased to have them introducing the film to the Japanese audience.” Yoda said: “We are very confident that we can push a new frontier for Chinese films in the Japanese market with this title.”
Wong recently completed principal photography in China on the $25m film which stars Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen.
The martial arts film “The Grandmasters” will be in the can in mid-May.
South Korean Actress Song Hye Kyo recently flew to China to complete her part in the film, according to South Korean media. Directed by Wong Kar-wai, the film is an biographical one based on the story of kung fu star Bruce Lee’s master, Yip Man. Song Hye Kyo plays the role of Yip Man’s wife.
The film also features other A-list stars, including Hong Kong actor Tony Leung and mainland China actress Zhang Ziyi. Director Wong, who is known for long shooting periods, started filming “The Grandmasters” in 2009.