Monday, 7 March 2011


Due to log in/reliability issues with Blogger I have been forced to move this blog.
Wong Kar Wai News will now be available at
Please update bookmarks. I will try to sort out RSS feeds.
I will probably leave this version up for archival purposes.

Filming halted on ‘The Grandmasters’, released delayed until Winter 2011?

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.”


Saturday, 19 February 2011

Weinstein Company acquires UK & Australian rights to 'The Grandmasters'

Deadline are reporting that The Weinstein Company have snapped up the UK and Australian distribution rights to 'The Grandmasters'.

"The Weinstein Company has closed a deal for United Kingdom and Australian distribution rights to The Grandmasters, the Wong Kar-wai-directed Chinese language martial arts film. Harvey Weinstein is among a small group vying for domestic rights, with Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics also in the mix. TWC's investment was north of $1 million for the offshore rights. Buyers were shown about 15 minutes of expertly choreographed martial arts footage, and also were given a 5-page synopsis of the film. Distributors are going on faith that the director's vision holds together in a cohesive story. The film is the life story of the martial artist Ip Man, and Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen are in the cast. CAA is repping The Grandmasters.
The Grandmasters was one of the hottest titles to be shown to buyers at Berlin, where Megan Ellison's Annapurna Productions became an investor in the film for a rumored $3 million."

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Heiress Megan Ellison set to acquire rights to ‘The Grandmasters’

According to the Hollywood Reporter, heiress Megan Ellison's Annapurna Productions is reportedly in final talks to pick up North American rights to Wong Kar-Wai‘s martial arts epic “The Grandmasters” which stars Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen and follows the story of artist Ip Man, best known as the mentor of Bruce Lee.

"Ellison is in final negotiations to pick up the rights and to make a significant financial commitment to the movie and its marketing. The plan is for Ellison and Wong to partner with a distributor in the coming months.
Grandmasters, starring Tony LeungZhang Ziyi and Chang Chen, is a biopic of famed martial artist Ip Man, who practiced the art of Wing Chun and is best known as the man who taught Bruce Lee. Action sequences were choreographed by Yeun Woo-ping
The movie is still in production but Wong took a break from filming to trek to Berlin, privately showing buyers footage from his epic Friday. (Wild Bunch is selling the film internationally while CAA is handling domestic.)
Ellison, who did not attend Berlin, practiced her own Wing Chun in Berlin to sweep the legs from under Weinstein Co., Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics and Focus Features, who were in the mix to nab the rights as well.
Wong was won over by Ellison's personal touch and personal commitment to him and the film, which is being bought off of 10 minutes of footage. With the deal that steps off the beaten parth, Wong will now also be partnered with a financier who will have more at stake than a more traditional company.
Annapurna has been making surgical moves to be involved with top talent as the company makes a name for itself as a producer and financier. Ellison was an exec producer on True Grit, and is a producer on The Wettest Country in the World, the Shia LaBeouf-Tom Hardy crime drama selling at EFM.
She recently partnered with Mark Boal and Management 360 to option The Boy Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, a New York Times Magazine article on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Annapurna and Wong are repped by CAA."

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Grandmasters Generating Heat in Berlin

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Weinstein Company, Fox Searchlight and and Sony Pictures Classics are among those interested in Wong Kar-wai’s martial arts movie 'The Grandmasters'. Also it seems that the film may still be shooting.

"One of the films to watch in Berlin is The Grandmasters, Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar Wai's sumptuous telling of the tale of martial arts legend Ip Man.
The story has previously been told in films like Ip Man and Ip Man 2, but Kar Wai, director of Chungking Express and My Blueberry Nights, is generating buzz because the project is his first action movie.
Kar Wai took a break from filming to trek to Berlin, privately showing buyers footage from his epic.
Among those showing strong interest, according to insiders, were execs from Weinstein Co., Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics. Focus Features is likely in the mix as well.
Wild Bunch is selling international while CAA handles domestic.
The $25 million Chinese-language film might seem to be a tough sell in the U.S., for the mere fact that it isn't in English. Then again, that didn't stop Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon from crossing over from art house fare to becoming a major North American box office hit as well as a multiple Oscar winner.
Grandmasters stars Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen. Action sequences were choreographed by Yeun Woo-ping."

Courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter:

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Grandmasters unveiled in Berlin

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.

After Tony Leung's dark clothes and white straw hat Yip Man look in THE GRANDMASTERS was revealed, people proclaimed the birth of a Chinese super hero and a new icon of a dark warrior. Immediately it became the target of imitation in the business. Because Tony Leung's dark warrior in the rain look did not clearly show his face, this time the film company will display his heroic look fully in Berlin. Tony Leung's unique Yip Man look swept across Europe and America and started a GRANDMASTERS fever. Even European and American distributors would spare no expense on promoting this Wong Kar Wai kung fu epic at this year's Berlin Film Festival film market. They would attract buyers with Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi's action sequences. Conceivably after Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi, other key characters' unique looks in the film would gradually be revealed.

European distributors outside the film market center deliberately selected an eye catching spot, built two buildings and filled their walls with Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi's GRANDMASTERS posters. In the poster Tony Leung used both fists and kicks and displayed his Wing Chun. Zhang Ziyi showed her eight diagram palm style and brought a refreshing look to everyone. Their stills surrounded the building walls and became one of the promotion focus. Wong Kar Wai broke into the European and American markets with IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (FA YEUNG NIN WA), which also began one of the foreign films in the European market with the box office.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Five films by Wong Kar-wai named in Greatest Chinese Films poll

The Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival has announced the results of its survey of the "100 Greatest Chinese-Language Films". 122 industry professionals took part in the survey, including film scholars, festival programmers, film directors, actors and producers.
With 73 votes, Hou Hsiao-hsien's 'A City of Sadness' topped the poll. Edward Yang's 'A Brighter Summer Day' came a close second.
Wong Kar-wai was Hong Kong's most recognised director with five slots headed by 'Days of Being Wild' in 4th place. The other films by Wong Kar-wai in the list are 'In The Mood For Love' (joint 9th), 'ChungKing Express' (21st), 'Happy Together' (26th), and 'Ashes Of Time' (joint 50th)

Top 10:
 1 A City of Sadness; dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien
 2 A Brighter Summer Day; dir. Edward Yang
 3 A Time to Live and a Time to Die; dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien
 4 Days of Being Wild; dir. Wong Kar-wai
 5 Spring in a Small Town; dir. Fei Mu
 6 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; dir. Ang Lee
 7 Yi Yi: A One and a Two; dir. Edward Yang
 8 Dust in the Wind; dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien
9= Dragon Inn; dir. King Hu
9= In the Mood for Love; dir. Wong Kar-wai

Tony Leung's stunt double in The Grandmasters

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).
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