October 30th, 2010 •
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:
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.
August 24th, 2010 •
Martial arts actor Bruce Leung Siu-lung aka Bruce Liang (Gallants, Kung Fu Hustle) confirmed in an interview that he would be starring in The Grand Master.
CSB: You’ve done a lot of comedies since your comeback. Do you want to tackle some more dramatic roles?
Bruce Leung: Since Kung Fu Hustle, I’ve actually done 12 or 13 films in all different genres, not just comedies. I’m actually going to go to Shanghai to shoot a film with Chow Yun-Fat that does not require me to do any martial arts. And there is another one with Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. I will also be in Wong Kar-Wai’s movie about Ip Man, playing one of the masters.
June 26th, 2010 •
As I suspected filming on “The Grand Master” continues.
Credit to: http://www.soompi.com/
Here’s a casting call for hiring supporting actors/actresses for the film:
*Auditions for a maid, to start filming end June / early July, accommodation will be provided.
Audition to be held on 9 June.
Age: either 13-18 or 25-30.
*4 replacements for Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen and Song Hye-kyo, as well as a number of actors for portraying students.
The audition is on 13 June.
April 27th, 2010 •
At a media event, Hong Kong singer/actor Julian Cheung Chi-Lam (A Mob Story) told reporters that he will be starring in “The Grand Master”.
Julian Cheung’s IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0156492/
April 23rd, 2010 •
In January 2009, it was reported that Wong Kar-wai had invited Brigitte Lin to appear in “The Grand Master.” It was originally thought that she would be playing the role of Yip Man’s wife but this was later denied by the film’s producer Ng See-Yuen.
He admitted that they had dined with the actress and that she had agreed to star in the film. However, they did not know what role she would play. He hoped that the reports would not change her mind. Did Brigitte Lin have any conditions for her comeback? Ng See-Yuen expressed that he did not know, but that the actress and Wong Kar Wai are great friends.
According to Taiwan’s United Daily News, Brigitte Lin’s character was shrouded in secrecy but that there are scenes where she will have to be disguised as a man, harking back to her previous androgynous roles.
In September 2009, it was reported that Brigitte Lin turned down a role in the film because it was not tailor-made for her.
In February 2009, Yip Chun (son of Yip Man and an adviser on “The Grand Master”) stated during an interview that Wong Kar-wai was thinking about inviting Gong Li to join the project. Speculation in the media about what role she might play followed, with many fans apparently believing the subsequent reports that she was co-starring in the film. It was at first reported that she would be playing Yip Man’s wife but was later stated that the role would be “a female martial arts master from Foshan.” However, the casting idea was unconfirmed by others associated with the project.
In January 2009, it was reported that singer/actor Jay Chou would be playing the part of Bruce Lee in “The Grand Master.”
At the 2008 Taiwanese Golden Horse Awards ceremony, the film’s producer Ng See-Yuen revealed that Wong had extended an invite to Chou to take part in the film.
In February 2009, Chou confirmed that his busy schedule meant he couldn’t take part in the film.
April 22nd, 2010 •
According to China’s portal site, Sina.com on December 21st, Song Hye Kyo (Full House) has decided to appear in director Wong Kar-wai’s The Grand Master and is currently undergoing intense training. Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, and other top stars from Greater China are also appearing. This will be Song Hye Kyo’s first challenge in an action role since her debut. It has been known that Song Hye Kyo went to China at the beginning of this month to undergo martial arts training. Sina.com revealed photos of her practice form where she is sporting casual attire.
Wong had continuously expressed his interest in working with Song, officially stating so at the Pusan International Film Festival in 2004. He also invited her to the premiere of his film “My Blueberry Nights” held in New York of August 2008.
A rep for Song Hye-kyo confirmed, ” Due to confidentiality stipulations, further details cannot be revealed, but it is correct that Song Hye Kyo she is currently preparing for a new project in China.”
Song Hye-kyo’s management company, Eden9 stated, “Since first receiving director Wong’s proposal, she decided to take part in the movie. As of yet, we are not at the stage to reveal which role she will take. Currently, she is learning Cantonese and practicing martial arts.”
Director Wong Kar-wai stated, “Though she won’t have many action scenes, we want her body to be familiarized with natural movements.” Also, she will work with a native tutor to study Chinese.
For her first advancement in China with the movie, “The Grand Master”, ‘Hallyu Queen’ Song Hye Kyo (28) is living life like a high school senior as she takes the most excellent measure in preparing for this project.
Ahead of next month’s full-scale filming for the movie, these days she remains on location in China, coming and going between her lodging quarters and the martial arts practice room. In between this, she receives two hours of private Chinese lessons everyday. As she is in an area without internet access, she speaks with both her mom and lover Hyun Bin by telephone to send each other their best regards and love.
A close associate of Song Hye Kyo conveyed how she has been getting along. “This is her first Chinese advancement work, so she has great enthusiasm for this movie.” She added, “As of late, she pretty much just goes to and from her lodging quarters and the martial arts practice room and cannot even cast her eyes to any other place. She is no different than a high school senior preparing for exams.”