Actress Song Hye-Kyo was spotted yesterday in HMV buying 4 DVDs, including Lust Caution and 2046. It was said that she left for Guangzhou by car yesterday to meet up with Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi and Julian Cheung Chi-Lam.
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.
Filming “The Grand Master” in Liaoyang War Museum Old Building and it’s hard to see any of the stars as the crew has not allowed others to stay in the hotels. The arrival of Wong Kar-wai, Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, and martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping caused quite a stir with many people arriving to see the stars. The crew have worked hard to secure areas of the museum, with “under constructuction” and “closed” signs hung outside the doors. “The Grand Master” crew have signed confidentiality agreements to prevent leaks, with the museum also signing an agreement.They filmed indoors until the early hours, with Wong Kar-wai wearing sunglasses at the midnight shooting. Security is extremely tight and impossible to see the cast. Zhang Ziyi was spotted and described as being very thin and pale and Tony Leung also lost weight.
The 6th Hong Kong Entertainment Expo will take place on March 22 to April 18th. Tony Leung attended the press conference as the Entertainment Ambassador. When asked how his filming was going for “The Grand Master”? Tony replied saying he had filmed scenes in Kaiping earlier. The team is now in Shenyang filming. Originally he was not part of the filming in Shenyang, only Zhang Ziyi and Zhao Benshan were filming there. However, as director Wong Kar Wai felt the snow scenery was too beautiful, he decided to add Tony in as well. He will rejoin the crew after Chinese New Year’s. Because of that, he will not go skiing during New Years, as he doesn’t want to risk getting injured.
Zhang Ziyi was rumoured to have gotten ill filming in Northern China and apparently need to go to the hospital for treatment. Tony said, “It’s pretty common receiving IV fluids. The feeling is like eating chicken. When Ang Lee was filming “Red Cliff”, he had to go to the hospital after suffering from exhaustion. I hope everything will go smoothly for me.” As for the rumours that Zhang Ziyi’s screen time will be reduced? Tony says he hasn’t heard anything about it. However, it seems highly unlikely as Wong Kar Wai already has the script in place. He does not foresee any changes. Has Zhang Ziyi’s mood been affected by her negative press lately? He says he doesn’t know, as they haven’t filmed any scenes together yet. He only knows that Song Hye-kyo will be appearing in the movie. As for whether Gong Li will appear or who will play his wife? He expresses he doesn’t know either. However, Tony expresses he’s looking forward to working with Song Hye Kyo. He met her when he was in Korea promoting 2046 and felt that she was very special.
When asked if he was a good fighter? Tony joked and said, “You wouldn’t expect any less from the Grand Master right?” He expressed that while he hasn’t been seriously injured in training, he does have lots of body contact with his instructors so he often gets bruised up. He jokes and says, “I’m looking forward to counting all my injuries when the movie is complete.” Donnie Yen has said, ‘if you don’t fight, you won’t be injured’. Tony says, “This is an action movie. It’s the same as soccer, there will be physical contact. Injuries are to be expected.” He praises Yuen Woo-ping, saying his style is very good.
He admitted that when filming of “The Grand Master” started, the action was so fast-paced that he “almost couldn’t hang in there.” “This is a genuine kung fu movie,” Leung said, adding “there really will be many action scenes.”
Location filming for “The Grand Master” began in January 2010 in Shenyang, China in below freezing temperatures.Wong Kar-wai is now shooting some parts of the film in Northern China with Zhang Ziyi and the Zhao Benshan. It will take 2 weeks for shooting this part, so they should be finished around 23-24 January. Wong Kar-wai then plans to return to Southern China to continue shooting with the other actors, like Tony Leung, Chang Chen and Song Hye-kyo.
According to this report, the script has changed once again. Zhang Ziyi is now playing a student of Zhao Benshan, with Zhao Benshan’s disciplines also participating in this film. The movie will become less solemn and more like a comedy. Zhao Benshan will play another martial arts master, most likely a Chinese boxer. The shooting site will move from the Guangdong province (southern part of China, near to Hong Kong) to another city in the north-eastern China. Wong Kar-wai wants to add winter and snowing scenes to the movie.
Wong Kar-Wai, Zhao Benshan, Zhang Ziyi, and Yuen Woo-Ping met in North-east Shenyang (Zhao’s base) to ring in the new year and prepare for the upcoming filming of “The Grand Master”.
In secret headquarters in Kaiping, Zhang Ziyi has been busily training herself for “The Grand Master”. Supervised by coaches, she took part in running exercises, rope skipping and Wing Chun practice. Zhang Ziyi agreed to play Yip Man’s (Tony Leung) wife after asking Wong Kar-wai to increase the size of the role.
Opening ceremony photos of “The Grand Master”.
Attended by Wong Kar-wai, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen and martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping (wearing the baseball cap).
Wong Kar-wai secretly had the opening ceremony of the “The Grand Master” in Guangdong.
On 21 November 2009, Wong Kar-wai took Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen to a hotel in Kai Ping town to have a small blessing ceremony (with roasted little piglets) for the start of shooting the film.
The reporter heard from the producer that the shooting will be taking place at the studio (Film Park) near the town from 12 December 2009 to 18 April 2010. The Film Park will be closed for the public during that time, and reopen on 19 April 2010.
The producer also said that the shooting should start at the end of November however we will have to wait to hear from WKW himself about the details of the actors and their roles.
Wong Kar-wai‘s next film is The Grand Master (一代宗師), a biopic of Wing Chun teacher Yip Man.
The film will star Tony Leung Chiu-wai in the title role.
Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Song Hye-kyo and Zhao Benshan are also confirmed.
The actors have training in Wing Chun and other martial arts styles with Yuen Woo-ping’s stunt team for a couple of months. Their preparation hit a setback in 2009 when Leung broke his left arm during training but he has since recovered.
Gong Li and Brigitte Lin were rumoured to star but nothing came of this.
Before anyone complains that Wong Kar-wai is jumping on the Yip Man bandwagon after the recent film, be aware that WKW has been planning the film for nearly ten years.
Wong Kar-wai formally announced plans to make a film about Ip Man in 2002, with Tony Leung and Yip Chun (son of Yip Man) in attendance. However, filming on “2046” overran due to the outbreak of the SARS virus and the subsequent rescheduling problems of the actors. Additionally, the editing and post-production also took longer than expected. After working on-off on “2046” for four years, as well as extended periods working on “In The Mood For Love” and “Happy Together”, Tony Leung wanted to delay making the Ip Man biopic so he could take time off from working with Wong Kar-wai.
In the interim, Wong Kar-wai planned to make “The Lady From Shanghai” with Nicole Kidman but the project was shelved and he made “My Blueberry Nights” with Norah Jones instead.
He also spent a number of years restoring “Ashes Of Time” which resulted in the new ‘Redux’ version. In 2007, producer Raymond Wong announced that he would make a rival film entitled “Ip Man” starring Donnie Yen. In 2008, Tony Leung turned down a number of films in order to spend an extended period training in Wing Chun for “The Grand Master”.
ENGLISH TITLE: The Grandmasters
CHINESE TITLE: 一代宗師, Yut Doi Jung Si (Cantonese title), Yi Dai Zong Shi (Mandarin title), First Generation Master (Literal English translation), The Grand Master (working title)
DIRECTOR: Wong Kar-wai
STORY BY: Wong Kar-wai
WRITTEN BY: Wong Kar-wai, Zou Jingzhi and Xu Haofeng
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Chan Ye Cheng, Song Dai
PRODUCER: Wong Kar-wai, Jacky Pang Yee-wah
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Michael J. Werner
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Philippe Le Sourd
EDITOR: William Chang Suk-ping
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: William Chang Suk-ping
COSTUME DESIGNER: William Chang Suk-ping
ACTION CHOREOGRAPHER: Yuen Woo-ping
MARTIAL ARTS CONSULTANTS: Lau Kar-leung, Guy Lai, Frankie Chan Fan-kei
ACTORS: Tony Leung Chiu-wai
Julian Cheung Chi-lam
Bruce Leung Siu-lung
GENRE: Action, biography, drama
STATUS: According to a report from Beijing, filming will run from December 12, 2009 to April 18, 2010
Reshoots began in mid-September. Filming currently suspended due to Tony Leung’s comitment to Derek Yee’s ‘The Great Magician’.
RELEASE DATE: Winter 2011 (Hong Kong)
LANGUAGES: Mandarin, Cantonese
BUDGET: US$25 million
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Block 2 Pictures, Metropole Organization
TAGLINE: “In Martial Arts There is No Right or Wrong, Only the Last Man Standing.”
PLOT: A biopic of Yip Man — the first Chinese man to teach the martial art of Wing Chun openly, training many major level students, including Bruce Lee.
SYNOPSIS: “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…”
FILMING LOCATIONS: Chikan Movie and Television City, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
Kaiping, Guangdong, China
Diaobingshan, Tieling City, China
Shenyang, Liaoning province, China
Liaoyang, Liaoning province, China