“The Grandmaster” will be in French theaters on April 17th.
The 63rd Berlin Film Festival opens tonight, with the Wong Kar-wai directed ‘The Grandmaster’ opening the event. Yesterday morning, the film’s leads Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Zhang Ziyi flew from Paris for Berlin in preparation for the film festival opening.
The film’s international version is 8 minutes shorter than the 130 minute version shown in China and Hong Kong, but Tony Leung’s role in the film has increased. Two major scenes like Leung’s fight with Cung Le and Bruce Lee‘s childhood meeting with Ip Man will appear in the international version. Leung said, “I never thought that my role was less in the Mainland version, so I don’t feel anything too special about the added scenes. Instead I feel some adjustments to the story make it more intense!”
As for the fight scene with Cung Le, Tony Leung remembered it like it was yesterday as he joked that he was already scared off before the shoot. “I already had pressure from working on a fight scene with him. Every time I saw him he would ask if I brought any protective gear, which added to my pressure. As the shoot went on, his martial arts truly were very high quality. He was able to control them at will. Our collaboration was very pleasant.”
The international version is shorter than the version shown in China as director Wong Kar-wai deliberated and finally removed some of Zhao Benshan‘s scenes. Because his role discusses kung fu with metaphors, foreigners might not understand them and therefore he removed these parts.
The new trailer for ‘The Grandmasters’ has been released as well as some new stills.
The new film from Wong Kar-wai starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai in the title role will finally be released this Christmas. As Ip Man, Tony Leung has numerous fight scenes, one of which he had to fight over ten people in the rain and thoroughly displayed his abilities. Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi had a “fight into an embrace” and a staring scene.
In the trailer, Tony Leung spoke Cantonese while the other actors spoke Putonghua. Other actors like Chang Chen, Song Hye-Kyo, Zhao Benshan, Xiao Shenyang and others were introduced as well.
From China Daily:
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.
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.”
Tony Leung‘s stunt double in the Yip Man biopic ‘The Grandmasters’ is Henry Araneda, an Applied Wing Chun master based in Melbourne. He posted some photos of him on his website with Tony Leung, director Wong Kar-wai, action director Yuen Woo-Ping and MMA fighter Cung Le (who he shares a fight scene with).
Vietnamese mixed martial artist Cung Le will be appearing in The Grand Master.
Earlier this month the former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion spoke of the possibility of working with director Wong Kar-wai:
Any additional Hollywood plans at the moment?
CL: I just got an offer to go to China before this shoot, and they’re willing to work around my schedule, to work with the famous director Wong Kar Wai. He’s a pioneer, and a very interesting artist.
On 25th October Cung Le tweeted:
“At San Fran International airport waiting to leave to Hong Kong. Get to work with Wong Kar Wai and Master Woo-ping at the same time! UsH!”
The Garv relayed an e-mail received from the MMA fighter:
“I am in China right now filming a movie with Director Wong Kar Wai and Action Director Woo-ping for a few weeks and will be back in the states on Nov. 7th to start Dragon Eyes a Joel Silver and After Dark production for seven weeks in New Orleans. I go back to China after Christmas to finish Grandmaster with Wong Kar Wai and Master Woo-ping for a week or two.”
The mixed martial artist and actor has had supporting roles in Pandorum, Fighting, Bodyguards and Assassins and True Legend.