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).
Director Wong Kar-wai and cast members of The Grandmasters appeared at a special press conference held in Beijing on December 28th.
The event was for the 60th anniversary of Sil-Metropole Organisation Ltd, one of the film’s production companies.
Most of the attention went to the cast of The Grandmasters, including Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Zhao Benshan, Song Hye-kyo, Xiao Shenyang and Wang Qingxiang, who rushed from the Guangdong set. The team presented an oil painting poster to the company.
The event showed a promotional reel for The Grandmasters but it did not include any actual footage from the film. Host Zhang Guoli joked that this trailer was mysterious enough, after such a long shoot the trailer had no scenes at all.
Then actors Leung Chiu-wai, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Song Hye-Kyo, Zhao Benshan, Xiao Shenyang, Wang Qingxiang appeared on stage.
Speaking of the fight scenes, Tony Leung said that he was not worried as he practiced for a long time. He practiced so much that his arm was broken at the hands of his Wing Chun teacher. Zhang Guoli joked that the scene of Tony Leung’s arm being broken was not preserved, which truly was a regret for Chinese film because it was worth a lot of money. The fight scene in the rain he said was very difficult and took 30 days to shoot. Zhang Guoli joked that it only took 30 days, someone had to thank Wong Kar-wai as normally it might take 3 months.
Zhang Ziyi plays a martial art expert in the film, Zhang Guoli praised her eight diagram palm technique in the snow scene, saying it was very pretty. Zhang Ziyi said that this scene was shot last winter. At the time, the crew joked that this shoot would not be completed as they predicted whether or not they would have to shoot it again next year. Surprisingly they were right. She recalled the 30 degree below zero (Celsius) shooting environment as truly tough.
Chang Chen plays an eight diagram expert in the film. For the film, he trained for two years but the training benefited him a lot and his health improved.
Song Hye-kyo plays Yip Man’s (Tony Leung) wife in the film, but they did not stand together on the stage. She joked that they (she and Tony) were together everyday during filming so they didn’t have to stand together now. Zhang Guoli said that this was understandable to avoid suspicion from Tony Leung’s wife (Carina Lau). This was Song Hye-kyo’s first film shooting in China and she was truly pleased to be able to work with a group of such great actors. She thanked director Wong Kar-wai for his help, because at first she was not too used to his style of directing. Director Wong helped her a lot.
Wong Kar Wai appeared in the end to pose for a group photo with the cast.
Host Zhang Guoli asked Tony Leung to make a kung fu pose but Tony only had his hands in his pockets and played cool. He explained that he was dressed modernly so he posed with his hands in his pockets in front of the poster.
The actors finally sang a birthday song to celebrate Sil-Metropole’s 60th year, but they looked somewhat embarrassed.
After two days promoting The Grandmasters in Beijing, Tony Leung returned to Hong Kong. Reporters asked him about the filming schedule and he revealed that he will return to the Mainland later to continue the shoot. He has been shooting more than 10 hours a day, most likely with no time off during the new year. He thinks they will finish around the Lunar New Year (February).
Tony was in good spirits and full of smiles. He said, “Maybe it’s because of this Grandmaster hair cut.” His earlier injury has now basically healed, but during action scenes he would be even more cautious as he did not want to be injured again.
According to news in Hong Kong, initially the investors wanted ‘The Grandmasters’ to be released in the Lunar New Year period (early February), but now they are saying that the film will be in Chinese theaters during Easter.
Translation of the text in the trailer:
“Their valor is transmitted by men of chivalry, accurately recorded by the brushes of history that begin to flow into myriads of seas, and due to the dao, the fortunes of their affection are long, and the elements once a generation bear witness to the masters.”
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.
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.
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
Actress Song Hye-kyo met with director Wong Kar-wai on 19th October 2010 to discuss the progress of filming The Grand Master. Paparazzi managed to film the secret meeting and were able to capture exclusive images of reference photos shot for the film.
The first photo on the right is Song Hye-kyo with Zhang Ziyi (wearing a man’s suit).
The other one is Hye-kyo, Tony Leung (as Yip Man) and the actor playing their son. This pretty much confirms that Song Hye-kyo is playing Yip Man’s wife.
Wong Kar-wai began reshoots of the film starting in mid-September.
Credit: wloi @ Soompi.com
See the video shot by the paparazzi at the following link:
UPDATE: Larger scans added (click to enlarge).
It’s being reported in the Hong Kong press that this artwork purporting to be a real poster promoting Wong Kar-wai’s The Grand Master is in fact a fake created by fans impatient for the filmmakers to release an official one.
With the release of a promotional poster for The Grand Master it was expected that the film would be finished sooner rather than later.
However, a person purporting to be a crew member on the film has been tweeting messages on their Weibo account (Asian version of Twitter) which suggests otherwise. According to the staff member, they have recently been shooting scenes with both Tony Leung and Song Hye-kyo in a secret location in Guangzhou.
They were shooting past 4 a.m. as the child that Hye-kyo has been carrying was crying non-stop, and they needed to re-shoot it many times.
A photo of the meal schedule for the 21st of September for The Grand Master crew:
If the report of reshooting is true then it would certainly push back the intended release date for the Lunar New Year, making a Cannes 2011 premiere more likely. Director Wong Kar-wai has a habit of reshooting scenes as he spent three days re-shooting the final kiss in My Blueberry Nights.
Song Hye-kyo is scheduled to begin work on a new film (directed by Lee Jeong-hyang) in October.
However, Tony Leung won’t start work on his next film (directed by Derek Yee) February of next year.
UPDATE: They were filming in Chikan Movie and Television City.
At a promotional press conference for Jiang Wen’s film Let The Bullets Fly, actress Carina Lau predicted that this film would be this year’s Mainland box office champion.
Without any fear of her husband Tony Leung‘s holiday film The Grand Master (Yut Doi Jung Si), Carina said, “I am very willing to defeat him!”
A reporter asked her to predict the box office of Let The Bullets Fly. Carina confidently said, “Definitely this year’s best.” What if The Grand Master made the holiday slot? “First, I felt The Grand Master wouldn’t make it. Wong Kar-wai’s film production is truly too slow. Even if it would make it, I would be very glad to defeat them. I believe Wong Kar-wai would gladly watch the character that I create to be very successful.”
Teaser poster artwork for The Grand Master directed by Wong Kar-wai.
Currently scheduled for a December 2010 release in Hong Kong and mainland China.