Sohu Entertainment News are reporting that filming on ‘The Grandmasters’ has stopped and Wong Kar-wai has something else to be busy with. The film has been in preparation for almost 8 years and in production for 2 years, yesterday was rumoured to be coming to a production halt. It had been assumed that the film was near completion and was in the promotional phase. However, this could not be further from the truth.
In the interim its lead actor Tony Leung, who has focused on making and not taken any other role, recently accepted a role in Derek Yee’s ‘The Great Magician’ whilst he waits for ‘The Grandmasters’ to resume.
According to an insider of ‘The Grandmasters’, actress Song Hye-kyo has left the team in December 2010, and she has not returned in January 2011 when filming resumed. According to the staff, Hye-kyo was ‘very gentle’, she has not complained about the shooting delay as what has been rumoured. She did not need to do any kung fu fighting scenes. Though she should be playing an important role, she has only done a small portion of the shooting, so she might need to return to continue shooting later. However, Wong Kar-wai still has no idea how to fit her into the movie. There is a chance that not only Hye-kyo, but some of the other actors/actresses portions will be ‘cut’. All the main roles including the part played by actor Chang Chen, except Hye-kyo have a lot of fighting scenes.
The release date for ‘The Grandmasters’ has repeatedly been delayed, from National Day to Lunar New Year of this year. Thus its goal was to finish by May. Reportedly from the current progress it would have difficulty with its completion. Wong Kar Wai decided to halt the production for Tony Leung to make money first while he could explore new elements before consider when to resume production. For the past two years Tony Leung has decided not to accept any other film roles so that he could focus fully on playing the role of Yip Man. However, it has been decided that he will begin work on ‘The Great Magician’ in the next few weeks and resume filming on ‘The Grandmasters’ at a later date.
Meanwhile The Hollywood Reporter has noted that the film “has been delayed until the fourth quarter.”