New pic via ScreenDaily:
Fortissimo, Wong Kar Wai’s Jet Tone Expand Relationship
Fortissimo chairman Michael Werner will associate produce ‘Grandmaster,’ with the company also handling the Jet Tone library.
Fortissimo Films and Wong Kar Wai’s
Jet Tone Films have expanded their relationship around the upcoming title The Grandmaster
and Jet Tone’s library, Fortissimo chairman Michael Werner
and Jet Tone’s Jacky Pang Yee Wah
said at the American Film Market on Wednesday.
Werner will associate produce Grandmaster,
the film starring Zhang Ziyi (Memoirs of a Geisha
), Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Lust, Caution
) and Chang Chen (Red Cliff
), and Fortissimo will handle sales in select territories retained by Jet Tone Film including Japan, South Korea and India.
Werner will work closely with producer Pang to advise on the marketing and release strategy for the film around the world.
Fortissimo also will handle the Jet Tone Films library, including titles such as Wong Kar Wai’s Chungking Express, Fallen Angels
and Ashes of Time Redux.
From the set of Block 2 Pictures and Sil Metropole Organization presentation last week, Werner observed Wong has built Grandmasters around “one of the most exciting sets and fighting sequences that I have ever seen.”
Fortissimo and Jet Tone have worked together more than 20 years and Pang said of Werner: “We have always seen Michael as a member of our team and we are very happy to have him physically on board Grandmaster
utilizing his background and knowledge of Asian cinema and his expertise in international sales, marketing and distribution.”
Chan Ye Cheng and Song Dai are executive producers, while Philippe Le Sourd is shooting the film with action choreography from Yuen Wo Ping and production design by William Chang Suk Ping.
French sales house Wild Bunch has picked up international rights to two of the biggest Chinese-language films of the year.
With the American Film Market starting tomorrow (3 Nov 2010) the company has picked up the upcoming martial arts film The Grandmasters
(一代宗師), by Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai (王家衛). It has also secured Under The Hawthorn Tree
(山楂樹之戀), the romantic drama by Zhang Yimou (張藝謀) that has been a hit on home turf in China and was set as the opening film at the Pusan and Hawaii film festivals.
The greater surprise is the pickup of Grandmasters
. As is typical of Wong, the film has been carefully shrouded in secrecy. But this time, as the film was independently financed without recourse to a minimum guarantee from a sales company, or territory pre-sales, producers at Wong’s Jet Tone Films (澤東製作有限公司) have been able to keep buyers and audiences guessing. Many of Wong previous movies were represented by Hong Kong and Amsterdam-based Fortissimo Films.
A period piece, Wong’s film is the fourth in a recent string of pictures about Ip Man (葉問), the legendary martial artist who taught Bruce Lee (李小龍). It has been tentatively positioned for release at Chinese New Year in late-Jan or early-Feb 2011. However, other recent press reports suggest that shooting will continue in early 2011.
Wild Bunch, which has rights outside Asia, says it will provide buyers with a synopsis and screen a 2-minute promo reel
at its booth. But the company did not confirm the delivery date.
Partial rights in much of South East Asia were previously picked up by Hong Kong-based film and pan-regional broadcast group Mei Ah Entertainment. In Hong Kong itself Mei Ah has TV and home entertainment rights, while one of the film’s investors SIL-Metropole will oversee theatrical.
Consecutive with the Wild Bunch pickup is a change in title, from The Grand Master
to The Grandmasters
, the announcement of tagline “in martial arts there is no right or wrong, only the last man standing” and the release of two poster images.
One, in near monochrome, highlights the powerful combination of Wong, Yuen Woo-ping (袁和平) as action choreographer and its stars Tony Leung Chiu-wai (梁朝偉) and Zhang Ziyi (章子怡).
Tony Leung spotted jogging and Song Hye-kyo spotted playing badminton in between filming:
A better look at Zhang Ziyi’s character in the film, fighting at the side of the railroad tracks. (Click to enlarge)
The film has been tentatively positioned for release at Chinese New Year in late-Jan or early-Feb 2011. However, other recent press reports suggest that shooting will continue in early 2011.
The Grandmasters press release via the American Film Market:
Cast：Tony, Chiu-wai LEUNG, Zi-yi ZHANG, Chen CHANG, Hye-kyo SONG, Ben-shan ZHAO, Xing-chang WANG
Producers：Kar-wai WONG, Jacky PANG
With martial arts getting more popular in the Thirties, more people seek to learn them via the professionals at Foshan in Southern China. Some of the experienced masters like to challenge their counterparts and undergoing battles. To have their whole concentration, it is their practice to lock up the venues and no one is allowed to leave during battles. No food and no rest before reaching any results.
Ip Man is a young rich man extremely talented in martial arts, but he chooses to keep a low profile. Yet this doesn’t keep him out of these troubles ahead. One day he is trapped in this battleground so he has to use every means in order to get out of there. The masters are amazed by his abilities. Master Kung and his daughter Kung Yi are amongst, and the latter is attracted to this newcomer.
A high warlord is assassinated by his own guard Yi Xian Tian. All masters in Foshan vow to take Tian down no matter what….
Official Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Grandmasters/
If this synopsis is accurate then it sounds like the plot is fictitious rather than based on fact.
Movielicious has sales artwork for Wong Kar-wai‘s biopic of Yip Man, now titled The Grandmasters.
The posters appeared at the American Film Market (AFM) in Los Angeles.
Hi-res pics: http://slide.ent.sina.com.cn/slide_4_704_15257.html
Wong Kar-wai’s first kung fu film The Grandmasters (Yut Doi Jung Si) is still in production. The film company has kept cast costumes and content confidential. The first two film posters were unveiled at Los Angeles’ American Film Market on November 1. The costumes of Tony Leung Chiu-wai who played Wing Chun master Yip Man in the film and lead actress Zhang Ziyi appeared for the first time and immediately became the focus of the foreign media.
In it Tony Leung wears a white straw hat and long black coat in the night rain. The foreign media were very interested in his look and even described it as the birth of a Chinese Dark Knight (Batman). In another promo image, Zhang Ziyi is in the midst of using Ba Gua Zhang (the eight diagram palm technique) – her eyes were full of self confidence. Foreign media pointed out that in a white straw hat, Yip Man was completely different from the image of Yip Man that has appeared in films before. Everyone was the most surprised that without any kung fu background Tony Leung actually had unspeakable kung fu power.
Wong Kar Wai fans could not wait to put the poster online and received a lot of responses. Some online even compared Tony Leung’s Yip Man look and Zhang Ziyi’s heroine feel with classic American comic book super heroes, saying that the U.S. had Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Catwoman, Yip Man in the poster definitely was China’s super hero. Some even suggested making Yip Man’s English name into “Yeah Man” in order to be a part of this group of super heroes.
Since the film started production, everyone has been the most curious about Tony Leung abilities. After a year of training, his figure could be seen on the poster for the first time. Even foreign media described him as looking radiant. The film’s action director Yuen Woo-ping even described Tony’s current condition as “the peak”. He said that he never worried about his agility because Tony had a high ability to comprehend and absorb quickly. Although he and Donnie Yen played the same character but they each had their own style. He greatly praised Tony’s current status for the film’s action scenes. “I never worried about him,” he says, “Talking about body figures, Tony looks better than Donnie Yen. It is unbelievable that there is strength in Tony’s kicks. He does have the potential to film action films.”
Tony Leung in the past year suffered a lot too. Responsible for instructing, Wing Chun Grand Master Yip Man’s disciple Duncan Leung Siu Hung admired Tony’s spirit to overcome hardship. He pointed out that Tony’s progress was slower than the average student, half a year more than expected. During the period he stopped training for awhile due to his arm injury. However he recovered and returned to form very quickly. Unlike Donnie Yen who had a kung fu background, Tony Leung had an advantage that Donnie Yen did not have. He was able to start from zero like a blank piece of paper. Tony gradually and clearly absorbed the spirit of Wing Chun kung fu completely. Every one of his moves now is very naturally convincing, whether punching or with a staff he was able to perform the Wing Chun school feel. He also pointed out that director Wong Kar-wai at first asked Tony to truly spend time to train and made him understand that slow and steady wins the race.