A new promotional still of Tony Leung as Yip Man has been released. Unfortunately, it seems to be a slight variation on the previous ones.
The Wong Kar Wai directed film THE GRANDMASTERS earlier unveiled lead actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai’s GRANDMASTER look, surprising the American Film Market, leading to attention from buyers and fans everywhere and even started an online poster bid fever. THE GRANDMASTERS (YUT DOI JUNG SI) has been in production for awhile. In order to satisfy everyone’s curiosity the film company would strike again by displaying Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi’s action sequences from the film at this year’s Berlin Film Festival and demonstrate the GRANDMASTER fashion without holding anything back.
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.”
Tony Leung celebrated his 48th birthday on the 27th June.
Already eight years in the making, Wong Kar Wai’s ‘The Grand Master’ will officially start filming in November 2009. As Tony Leung had broke his arm training for the movie, filming was delayed for two months while he recovered. Earlier on, Tony began training anew and has fully immersed himself into martial arts again. Even the Wing Chun masters who have been training Tony have praised his understanding and skill in Wing Chun. Tony is preparing to film ‘The Grand Master’ in his best form.
Does Light Exercises While Recovering
Tony’s been training at the martial arts school under the guidance of Master Yip Siu Hung and his disciples. While he had to stop training during his recovery period, Tony was still able to do light exercises. He says that kung fu training is something you can never get enough of anyway. Tony expressed that the past two months have been like an extended holiday. His doctor had strongly advised him to wait at least three months before doing any vigorous activity. After resting for a few weeks, he began exercising again to keep his body in shape. Everyday he’ll run for one or two hours. He also arranged for one-handed fitness sessions at the gym to keep his arms and legs in shape. In order to keep his arm immobile while running, he had to bandage it tightly to prevent any movement. Whenever he saw people on the streets, they would kindly ask him how his recovery was going and reminded him to be more careful.
Best Actor to Play Yip Man
Master Leung has been very satisfied with Tony’s performance. He especially admired Tony’s ‘never give up’ attitude. He has high hopes for Tony in the role of Yip Man. He believes Tony’s spirit, appearance and comprehension is very similar to Master Yip Man and is the ideal candidate to play him.
Tony Leung, who is back to Wing Chun training, still feels some pain when exerting his arm as it takes 3 months before his fractured arm would fully recover (he’s rested for two months). Producer Ng See Yuen says “The Grand Master” by Wong Kar Wai, which is about Yip Man’s life after his migration to Hong Kong and his relations with other sects, has to begin filming in November – come what may. But who knows it’d be pushed back yet again. Ng See Yuen is forbidding Wong Kar-wai, who’s facing tremendous pressure, from altering the script on the set, “The script must be finalised first, can’t let him keep changing the script as he shoots the film.”
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.