A new promotional still of Tony Leung as Yip Man has been released. Unfortunately, it seems to be a slight variation on the previous ones.
Twenty years ago it was Alan Tang who invested in Wong Kar Wai‘s film Days of Being Wild, which solidified his position as a leading director in the film industry. Yesterday, WKW accepted an interview and spoke highly of his old boss. “He has always been my big brother and will always remain as my big brother. In my eyes, he was healthy and always in good spirits. When I heard the news of his passing, it came as a shock to me.” WKW says that Alan Tang was a good boss and a good friend. “He was the first person who encouraged me to become a director. He would also take time to share his experience in filmmaking. My thoughts are with his family during this time.”
Rebecca Pan also took part in Days of Being Wild. She says, “I didn’t know him very well. However, because Lydia Shum and I are both Shanghainese, we would occasionally meet up with everyone, including Alan Tang and his wife. I remember having conservations with him.” She says that life has many strange coincidences. Just two days ago she took part in an event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Days of Being Wild. Now it’s hard to believe that the film’s producer and its biggest benefactor is no longer here.
Days of Being Wild was a film from the 90’s. Just prior to that film, WKW and Alan Tang had collaborated together on the film As Tears Go By, which was a box office hit. Alan Tang decided to invest $40 million HKD into both Part 1 & 2 of Days of Being Wild. However, the film flopped at the box office and Part 2 was put on hold indefinitely. Surprisingly, critics loved the film and it garnered numerous film awards, including a Best Director Award for WKW. Alan Tang once spoke of his investment in the film. “If I had invested my money in stocks instead, I would have been a billionaire. However, I never once regretted my decision.”
Alan Tang died on 29 March 2011 from a stroke.
In an interview with Strikeforce’s website MMA fighter-turned-actor Cung Le said that he would be returning to film ‘The Grandmasters‘ in April:
Basically, I was in China in early October for a Wong Kar Wai movie called “The Grandmasters” for two weeks…On December 23rd, I wrapped “Dragon Eyes” and came home for Christmas, and then left on the 26th for China for another movie, “The Man with the Iron Fist” for nine weeks of filming. At the same time, “Grandmasters” was filming out there, so I worked a week on that film. It ended up with them wanting to expand my role, so now I’ve got to go back out to China at the end of April to do some more shooting. I’m getting to work with some big names. Wong Kar Wai is a big-time director out there, and Tony Leung, who’s like the Brad Pitt of China.
On his Twitter account, he noted that he would be “Back to China sometime in April. I have a week of filming on The Grandmasters (2012)” and that “Wong Kar Wai expanded my part on Grandmasters.”
Wong Kar-wai shared the prize for Outstanding Achievement with actress Zhang Ziyi at the 2010 Passat – Huading Awards Ceremony in Beijing on 1st March. The star-studded awards ceremony was held to honour and recognise Chinese performers. Winners were selected based on online voting and expert reviews.
Sohu Entertainment News are reporting that filming on ‘The Grandmasters’ has stopped and Wong Kar-wai has something else to be busy with. The film has been in preparation for almost 8 years and in production for 2 years, yesterday was rumoured to be coming to a production halt. It had been assumed that the film was near completion and was in the promotional phase. However, this could not be further from the truth.
In the interim its lead actor Tony Leung, who has focused on making and not taken any other role, recently accepted a role in Derek Yee’s ‘The Great Magician’ whilst he waits for ‘The Grandmasters’ to resume.
According to an insider of ‘The Grandmasters’, actress Song Hye-kyo has left the team in December 2010, and she has not returned in January 2011 when filming resumed. According to the staff, Hye-kyo was ‘very gentle’, she has not complained about the shooting delay as what has been rumoured. She did not need to do any kung fu fighting scenes. Though she should be playing an important role, she has only done a small portion of the shooting, so she might need to return to continue shooting later. However, Wong Kar-wai still has no idea how to fit her into the movie. There is a chance that not only Hye-kyo, but some of the other actors/actresses portions will be ‘cut’. All the main roles including the part played by actor Chang Chen, except Hye-kyo have a lot of fighting scenes.
The release date for ‘The Grandmasters’ has repeatedly been delayed, from National Day to Lunar New Year of this year. Thus its goal was to finish by May. Reportedly from the current progress it would have difficulty with its completion. Wong Kar Wai decided to halt the production for Tony Leung to make money first while he could explore new elements before consider when to resume production. For the past two years Tony Leung has decided not to accept any other film roles so that he could focus fully on playing the role of Yip Man. However, it has been decided that he will begin work on ‘The Great Magician’ in the next few weeks and resume filming on ‘The Grandmasters’ at a later date.
Meanwhile The Hollywood Reporter has noted that the film “has been delayed until the fourth quarter.”
Deadline are reporting that The Weinstein Company have snapped up the UK and Australian distribution rights to ‘The Grandmasters’.
“The Weinstein Company has closed a deal for United Kingdom and Australian distribution rights to The Grandmasters, the Wong Kar-wai-directed Chinese language martial arts film. Harvey Weinstein is among a small group vying for domestic rights, with Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics also in the mix. TWC’s investment was north of $1 million for the offshore rights. Buyers were shown about 15 minutes of expertly choreographed martial arts footage, and also were given a 5-page synopsis of the film. Distributors are going on faith that the director’s vision holds together in a cohesive story. The film is the life story of the martial artist Ip Man, and Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen are in the cast. CAA is repping The Grandmasters.
The Grandmasters was one of the hottest titles to be shown to buyers at Berlin, where Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Productions became an investor in the film for a rumored $3 million.”