In April of last year, it was announced that Donnie Yen (甄子丹) would be reprising his role as the titular character in Ip Man 3 <葉問 3>, leading to the heightened anticipation of many fans. However, a Hong Kong magazine recently reported that a dispute had risen between producer Raymond Wong (黃百鳴) and director Wilson Yip (葉偉信), and that Raymond wanted his son, Edmond Wong (黃子桓), to helm the movie instead. In order to show support for the director, Donnie decided to back out of Ip Man 3, insisting that he would not act if Wilson did not direct.
At the beginning of the year, Raymond announced that Pegasus Motion Pictures had spent 150 million RMB in order to bring back the dream duo of Donnie and Wilson. He also indicated that filming for Ip Man 3 was slated to begin in Hangzhou in July. Moreover, the movie was planned to be released in 3D.
However, the lack of news sparked concern among fans and the media. It was soon discovered that Ip Man 3 was facing funding problems, which stemmed from the hesitance of mainland Chinese companies to invest in projects that might not bring a satisfactory return at the box office. Their unwillingness to invest has been exacerbated by box office flops like Magic to Win <開心魔法>, which was produced by Raymond, and the recent Saving General Yang <忠烈楊家將>.
Despite the limited funds, Raymond felt that the cast and crew should commence filming. Wilson suggested that they cut production costs, although he was worried about the effect that this would have on the movie’s quality and 3D special effects. To Wilson, it would be better to not film, rather than risk damaging the series’ reputation due to lack of funds. In the end, Raymond decided to replace Wilson with his son, Edmond, and to shoot Ip Man 3 in regular 2D.
In response to this decision, Donnie announced that he was withdrawing alongside Wilson. The two share a deep friendship, which started when they first collaborated on the 2005 movie SPL: Sha Po Lang <殺破狼>. Since then, they have worked together on four more films, including the first two installments of the highly successful Ip Man series. Many say they are a golden pair, destined to work together, and that a success for one is a success for the other.
When asked about his take on Ip Man 3, Wilson responded that he has not yet made a decision: “I’m still in the middle of discussing the details, because I can make a decision only when I see if there are new factors included.” Donnie showed his support for Wilson, saying, “I’m waiting for Wilson to be ready!”
According to insiders, Donnie and Wilson’s filming schedules are packed for the rest of the year, making it unlikely that they will have time to start shooting Ip Man 3 in July. Wilson is set to begin filming Zhong Kui <鍾馗>, whereas Donnie will go from the set of The Iceman Cometh <3D冰封俠> directly to that of Teddy Chan’s (陳德森) One Person’s Martial Arts Circle <一個人的武林>.
In response to possible scheduling conflicts, Raymond’s daughter, Alvina, responded, “We are a listed company, and we signed a contract with the investors. No matter who is in the cast, we will start filming.”
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