Wong Kar-wai to produce ‘Ferryman’, Tony Leung signed to star


Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Wong Kar-wai and Zhang Jiajia yesterday attended the press conference to announce their new film titled ‘Bai Du Ren‘, translated as ‘Ferryman‘. The original writer Zhang Jiajia will direct the film and Wong Kar-wai will produce. The story is part of his 2014 best seller “I Belonged To You.” Zhang Jiajia thanked the team for its support and hoped that the first collaboration with Leung would set off a spark. Zhang even “expressed his feeling” to Leung and said that he was the only choice for the new film.

Tony Leung said “I took Ferryman because I want to play a romantic comedy.” He said that this time he took the role after reading only the synopsis, so far he still has not seen a script. He fully trusted his frequent collaborator Wong Kar-wai. After ten years without a romantic comedy he said that he had a lot of pressure with the performance.

Wong Kar-wai said that the script was being worked on. Wong was asked about only producing instead of directing and he listed five reasons for this. “This story is very influential, its director must be able to achieve five points, including that it must be like hot pot casserole, must be able to drink, must have a post 80 nostalgia, sounds like Wong Kar Wai but actually is Stephen Chow, and have the attention of a lot of women. Thus Zhang Jiajia is the most suitable.”

Financial backing is coming from Alibaba Pictures Group Limited. ‘Ferryman’ is the first movie project mainly run by Alibaba Pictures since it was established last year. The movie is expected to be released by the end of this year.



‘The Grandmaster 3D’ Press Conference Round-up

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Wong Kar Wai‘s first 3D film ‘The Grandmaster 3D’ will open in Mainland China on January 8. Yesterday a premiere press conference was held in Beijing with Bona Film’s chief Yu Dong, director Wong Kar-wai, actors Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Max Zhang Jin, Wang Qingxiang in attendance. The director said that ‘The Grandmaster 3D’ returned to the silver screen in response to the audience’s demand. He hoped for the film to be able to bring the audience back to the bygone martial art world with the best appearance and 3D technology.

At the event, Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen and other stars expressed the unique flavour of director Wong Kar-wai in their hearts. Zhang Ziyi said, “The flavour of director Wong Kar Wai is the flavour of the moment when a match is lit.” Chang Chen described his impression of Wong Kar-wai as whiskey. “The flavour is great in the beginning and has a lot that are worthy savouring.” Working with Wong Kar-wai for the eighth time, Tony Leung joked that after the director quit smoking, every time he saw him he had the flavour of chewing gum.

Wong Kar-wai made a humorous simile with food. He compared Tony Leung Chiu Wai to tofu, saying that he was “accurate, precise, his acting can be both meat and vegetarian, great both inside and out.” Zhang Ziyi was like a vegetable queen onion, “Spicy and crunchy it is a very northern specialty, but the flavour after maturity is sweet”. Chang Chen would always be “little fresh meat” in the heart of director Wong Kar Wai, with “the always boiling like water cooked fish” Zhang Jin and the “as masculine as Lao Bai Gan” Wang Qingxiang, ‘The Grandmaster 3D’ was the ultimate feast of 3D sights and sounds.

The Grandmaster 3D’s production process took seven years of preparation, over three years of production and a year for the 3D conversion, every drop of which collected the effort of the creators. Tony Leung said that the entire production process was very memorable. When he watched Zhang Ziyi working on the night scene in the Northeast in 20 degrees Celsius below zero, he felt that she truly has contributed a lot. Zhang Ziyi felt that what she got from The Grandmaster 3D already far surpassed what she gave. Working with director Wong Kar-wai she learned to enjoy film even more, and she was very happy to be able to receive his priceless friendship.

On the day of the event, Chang Chen even revealed that director Wong Kar-wai would often have inspirations out of the blue, as he kept adding in these new ideas to the film. The director once asked him during his training, “How do you feel if I let Yi Tianxian perform Beijing Opera?” Chang Chen could not help but complain.

At the press conference, the real reason behind Wong Kar-wai’s sunglasses was revealed. Sunglasses and suits have become Wong Kar-wai’s symbolic look, actually it was the “price” that the director has paid for focusing on film over the years. With long term and excessive use at work, the director’s eyes were very sensitive to light. Thus he would always wear sunglasses. Thus all the stars put on the sponsor’s 3D “glasses” as a salute to director Wong Kar-wai.

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‘The Grandmaster 3D’ adds the Tony Leung and Chang Chen duel

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A press conference for ‘The Grandmaster 3D’ was held in Shenzhen, with director Wong Kar-wai announcing that Tony Leung and Chang Chen‘s duel will appear for the first time, calling it “a shot that is worth more than gold”. Chang Chen revealed that this scene was the final scene shot for the film and the entire process took 90 hours to shoot.

In ‘The Grandmaster 3D’, Wong Kar-wai added the “blade listening duel” between Chang Chen’s Tai Chi Fist master Yi Xiantian and Tony Leung’s Ip Man on Ten Le Long Street. He felt that “a shot that is worth more than gold” also expressed his attitude toward film. In order to make the duel between two masters Ip Man and Yi Xiantian in its best condition, Chang Chen and Tony Leung did a lot of preparation. The entire scene’s production in the end took 90 hours, finally the mutual admiration from the masters’ exchange was performed to its most thorough.

Under Wong Kar-wai’s order, the crew spent two months to take inventory of ‘The Grandmaster 3D’s’ hundreds of thousands of props and finally they were able to find this blade again. At the event Wong Kar Wai personally presented it to Chang Chen as a gift who brought it to the press conference.

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