Song Hye Kyo in Hong Kong

Actress Song Hye-kyo was sighted shopping in Central, Hong Kong, a few days ago. She has been staying in a rented apartment costing HK$93,000 per month in Happy Valley, she occupies one room and the other for her assistant. She has been secretly training for her role in “The Grand Master” and has also been learning Cantonese to make communication easier with Wong Kar-wai and Tony Leung. She was tired and bored with training and took a rest to go shopping and was spotted in The LandMark near Oriental Mandarin Hotel.
The report also mentioned about her thick waist and thighs.
The movie is expected to be released in December this year.
Video report:

Madonna is a fan of Wong Kar Wai

In a conversation with director Gus Van Sant for Interview magazine, Madonna spoke about her admiration for Wong Kar-wai:

MADONNA: I look at movies like Wong Kar-Wai’s films, and they all have such a familylike feeling about them. He just keeps working with the same actors and art director and DP, and the stories don’t change that much. There seems to be this familiarity there that must be such a nice luxury.
VAN SANT: Wong Kar-Wai is a really great inspiration. He’s always referred to as the Jimi Hendrix of filmmaking.
MADONNA: What does that mean?
VAN SANT: It means that he’s so loose and familiar with his craft that he can sort of do anything.
MADONNA: I was actually watching In the Mood for Love [2000] again last night because I love the music. And I mean, how overused is slow motion in film? But, for some reason, he gets away with it. Every time the characters pass each other on the stairs, there’s that same piece of music. It’s so beautiful. He has these two married couples living next door to each other, and you never see the wife of one couple or the husband of the other, but you always hear them talking. And it’s not so much of a story, but you’re so sucked into it. It’s something to be envied. While the stories seem simple, you really end up feeling kind of devastated and moved and melancholic every time you watch one of his movies-well, I do, anyway.
VAN SANT: I do too.
MADONNA: But maybe there’s something wrong with me. Maybe I’m just a sucker.

VAN SANT: No, I think they’re very strong films.

Lau Kar Leung an advisor on The Grand Master

Legendary director Lau Kar-leung, was given a Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards, long overdue in my opinion. Lau sifu is currently working with cult director Wong Kar-wai on his long-awaited kung fu film called “The Grand Master”.
Although director Wong’s Ip Man film was in development long before the Donnie Yen hit, both that movie and its sequel beat Wong Kar-wai into the cinema.
“The Grand Master”, which stars Tony Leung  as Ip Man, will detail the challenge matches between the different kung fu styles in 1960s Hong Kong. Wong reveals that he is using different masters to choreograph the arts of the different school, with Lau Kar-leung providing guidance on the Hung Gar style used in the film. No time frame given yet as to when the film will be scheduled for release.

Filming The Grand Master in Liaoyang War Museum – report 2

Filming continues on “The Grand Master” at Liaoyang museum.
Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi filmed scenes in the courtyard. Zhang Ziyi was reported as being thin and wearing big sunglasses that covered half her face.
Security aroung the museum is really tight.
Antiques from a local shop were rented as props for the film.

Lau Kar-Leung working on The Grand Master?

According to Sammo Hung who worked on rival Yip Man film Ip Man 2, legendary martial arts choreographer Lau Kar-Leung (“Drunken Master 2”) is connected with “The Grand Master”, though it’s unclear in what capacity as Yuen Woo-Ping (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) and his stunt team are also working on the film.

Heard that you sought Liu Chia Liang’s counsel for this role, what suggestions did he give you?
Sammo Hung: He said, sorry, he was working on Wong Kar Wai’s The Great Master, and had to keep his own counsel, so, I had to do my own homework.

The Lady From Shanghai – what happened? part 4

13 December 2007
Interview with Wong Kar-wai with LondonNet:
What can you tell us about Lady From Shanghai, the film you’re doing with Nicole Kidman?
WKW: Well, we’re working on the script. We have ideas. Normally I will build a story around one character and I think it will be interesting to have Nicole Kidman play it as a woman who claims she came from Shanghai, and it’s very mysterious. This will be the next one and Grand Master will be the one after because Tony needs some time to practice all these martial arts skills.

1 April 2008
Interview with Wong Kar-wai for The Diva Review:
MG: “And what is coming up after My Blueberry Nights?
WKW: Actually, we are working on two projects at this point. One is called The Grandmaster, which is with Tony to play the master of Bruce Lee…
MG: Yip Man?
WKW: Yeah! And the other one is The Lady from Shanghai.
MG: Will that actually be made in Shanghai?
WKW: The original idea is to shot the most part of it in Shanghai, a part of it here and in Russia.
MG: Is there a cast for that yet?
WKW: It’s with Nicole Kidman.

16 April 2008
Interview with Wong Kar-wai for Ain’t It Cool News:
Where are you right now with THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI. Where is that?
WKW: We are still working on this project. And, we have to work up a schedule with Nicole [Kidman]. And at the same time, we are also working on several projects at this point, projects like THE GRAND MASTER, which is the story about the teacher of Bruce Lee.
So, Nicole Kidman’s still planning on doing LADY FROM SHANGHAI?
WKW: Yes, this is my idea to have Nicole play this character. Like MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS with Norah: she is the reason I wanted to start this project.
Obviously, this isn’t a remake of the Orson Welles’ film.
WKW: [laughs] No, no, it’s not. The story is about the woman who…It’s a spy story. It took place in the ’20s, from Russia to China and then back in the United States.


16 November 2008
Wong Kar-wai decides to make “The Grand Master” with Tony Leung.

Nicole Kidman is attached to play the title role.
Takeshi Kitano rumoured to play the “bad guy”. (FALSE)
Gong Li rumoured to co-star in film. (FALSE)
Tony Leung rumoured to play the male lead. (FALSE, allegedly too short compared to Nicole Kidman)
Chang Chen rumoured to play the male lead. (FALSE)
Rachel Weisz rumoured to co-star in the film. (FALSE, misreporting as she starred in “My Blueberry Nights” instead)
“The Lady From Shanghai” is postponed until after the completion of “My Blueberry Nights”.
Nicole Kidman drops out of the film to support her husband who’s going through rehab.
Hugh Jackman rumoured to play male lead. (FALSE, but admitted he would be interested)
“The Lady From Shanghai” is shelved once again as WKW decides to make “The Grand Master” instead.

The chief problems seem to be:
scheduling conflicts of both WKW and Nicole;
the amount of time it will take to film and the filming in China are unfavourable to Nicole;
WKW’s inability to find a male lead to act opposite Nicole;
WKW will only make this film if Nicole acts in it.

The Lady From Shanghai – what happened? part 3


13 February 2006
“Grammy-winning singer Norah Jones, daughter of Indian musician Ravi Shankar, will make her film debut in the first English-language film by acclaimed Hong Kong art-house director Wong Kar-wai.
Wong was originally scheduled to shoot “The Lady From Shanghai”, featuring Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman, but has delayed the project until 2007 because they have not found a strong male lead actor, a source attending the ongoing Berlin Film Festival said.”

22 March 2006
“Wong Kar-wai said his other project, “The Lady From Shanghai” to be led by Hollywood star Nicole Kidman, has been postponed until early next year because the actress was busy filming “Australia” with Russell Crowe.”,0047.htm

27 May 2006
“Wong is also prepping the thriller Lady From Shanghai starring Nicole Kidman, which will begin production in 2007.”

31 May 2006
Wong Kar-wai told the South China Morning Post that the filming of his next film “The Lady From Shanghai”, will begin early next year due to leading actress Nicole Kidman’s schedule.

June 2006
Wong Kar-wai started filming “My Blueberry Nights”.

27 June 2006
This article begins by talking about “My Blueberry Nights” but also mentions “The Lady From Shanghai”:
“Even though this is his first time directing an English language film, Wong Kar Wai has not altered his habit of writing his script as he is filming. He usually gauges the actors’ performance for inspiration in creating his scripts. This habit will no doubt create headaches for the film’s producer. However, we expect Wong Kar Wai to change his ‘special characteristic’ next year when working with Nicole Kidman on “The Lady From Shanghai”, which has a budget of US$30 million. Because of his high regard for the film and marketing considerations, he himself will write the English language script. With Wong Kar-Wai said to be still having difficulty with the dialogues for the leading man, the filming may have to be postponed yet again.”


October 2006
Rumours circulate via IMDB boards that Hugh Jackman will star in the film. This seems to be a mix-up with the Baz Luhrmann film “Australia” in which he co-stars with Nicole Kidman (he replaced Russell Crowe).

17 October 2006
Variety reported that “…while that film is still in the works, no date has been set yet for Wong’s much-awaited Nicole Kidman starrer “The Lady From Shanghai.”

23 October 2006
“Speaking at the Rome Film Festival, Hollywood star Nicole Kidman said she will give up the role in Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai’s project “Lady From Shanghai”.
The Oscar-winning actress said she wanted to accompany her newlywed singer husband Keith Urban, who entered a rehabilitation treatment center Thursday for alcohol abuse. The Grammy-winning singer is publicly acknowledged as a former cocaine addict.”

November 2006
Interview with Nicole for The Advocate:
You also might do The Lady From Shanghai?
NK: I’m not sure. I’m married now, and part of me says, I want to be close to the person I love and that does not mean sitting in China. So you give up a lot so that you can have your love. The people who are really, really close to me, I want them close to me. I’m at a stage in my life now where I don’t want to be away.

9 November 2006
On rumours of Hugh Jackman’s involvement in the film:
“Such is Jackman’s work rate that it may soon be quicker to list those films in which he is not appearing. For starters, he has definitely not been cast in Wong Kar-Wai’s new picture, despite rumours to the contrary. “No, I’m not in it,” he chuckles. “But I’d love to be. I heard that rumour, too. I just hope it gets back to him. Can you make sure you print it?”

19 November 2006
“The plan had been to balance the completion of “Blueberry” with preproduction on “The Lady From Shanghai,” but Ms. Kidman announced last month that she was pulling out of that film. “None of those reports have been confirmed by anyone involved with the project,” Mr. Wong wrote. Without Ms. Kidman, though, he added, “There is no reason to do it.”

20 November 2006
Interview with Hugh Jackman for Latino Review:
Are you going to do ‘Lady From Shanghai?’
Jackman: No, I’m not. I read that, or someone told me that it was on IMDB. I was really upset because I think he’s brilliant. I love Wong Kar Wai. But no, there is no truth to that. Hopefully he’ll read that and think yes to me.
If he asked you would you do it?
Jackman: If he asked me there is an absolute chance, but he hasn’t. I don’t know why it’s up there. It might be because I just did a trip there to promote ‘X-Men.’ I don’t know how that happened. If you know him can you put in a word for me. Good.

27 July 2007
“A much-anticipated project involving Nicole Kidman and Wong Kar-wai is still alive, but it is not easy coordinating the schedules of the Oscar-winning actress and Hong Kong director, Kidman’s publicist said Wednesday.
“I can tell you that they still continue to discuss making the movie together. I believe it is a matter of both of their schedules, not just Ms. Kidman’s,” the publicist, Catherine Olim, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Charlotte Yu, a spokesman for Wong’s production company, Jettone Films, said she didn’t know the latest status of the movie, tentatively called “Lady From Shanghai.”
Little is known about the movie, and its story has not been made public.
Wong was quoted as saying in May 2005 he had started preparing for the movie. A film consultant told The Associated Press in February 2006 that the project was being delayed to 2007 because Wong hadn’t found a strong male lead.
But there are no signs that Wong will start shooting this year. His English debut, “My Blueberry Nights,” is scheduled to be released in November and Wong will likely be tied up with promoting that movie until then.
Wong, known for his mood-setting visuals and melancholy soundtracks, has attracted a strong following among the Hollywood elite despite making mostly Chinese-language films.
Kidman has been quoted as calling Wong “God.” Director Sofia Coppola paid tribute to the director in her Oscar acceptance speech in 2004. Quentin Tarantino lists Wong’s 1994 “Chungking Express” as one of his favorite films.”

12 November 2007
Interview with Nicole Kidman for Movieweb:
You’ve worked with some of the best directors today. Is there any director that you haven’t got to work with that you would like to and do you think you’ll wind up making “The Lady of Shanghai” with Wong Kar Wai?
Nicole Kidman: I’m not willing to go and live in another country for a year. I’m just recently married. So, that’s my priority. It’s not right for my life right now. I seek out directors who I think are strong voices. I’m not fond of difficult directors, but I’m drawn to that in a way. I really would love to work with Scorsese. I’d love him to construct a film around a woman. I still ask him all the time; because I’d be interested in seeing that movie. I’d like to work with Steven Spielberg. I’ve known him as a friend for a long time, so I would like to do that. I love working internationally.
If Wong-Kar would shoot sometime a little closer to home then I would like to work with him as well. I’d be willing to go back into Dogville territory at some stage.

December 2007
Interview in Glamour magazine, quoting Nicole about “The Lady From Shanghai”:
“I choose my project depending on Keith. I regret it, but I won’t go to China to make this film.”