The international box office success of Donnie Yen’s (甄子丹) Ip Man <叶问> spurred a franchise, as well as fans’ thirst for more Wing Chun action. Donnie’s two Ip Man movies have been the most successful martial arts films in recent years. Aside from the market flooded with various Ip Man movies in 2012 and 2013, mainland China will produce an Ip Man television series as well!
It was announced that Donnie Yen will film Ip Man 3 in 3D at the end of the year. After 13 years in the making, Wong Kar Wai’s (王家卫) The Grandmasters <一代宗师>, starring Tony Leung (梁朝伟), will be released on December 18, 2012. Furthermore, Herman Yau’s ( 邱禮濤) Ip Man: The Final Chapter, starring Rose Chan (陳嘉桓) will be filmed in the summer.
Capitalizing on the Ip Man trend, mainland China will be producing a television version. Famous director and writer, Fan Xiaotian (范小天) will serve as the director of the Ip Man TV drama. Scriptwriter, Zhang Tan (张炭) of New Dragon Inn <新龙门客栈> and Once Upon a Time in China <黄飞鸿> fame, will serve as the Executive Producer and Script Editor. Taiwanese talent, Yang Pui Pui (杨佩佩), involved in Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre <倚天屠龙记>, Return of the Condor Heroes <神雕侠侣>, and The Smiling, Proud Wanderer <笑傲江湖>, will serve as the Artistic Producer.
Scriptwriter, Zhang Tan indicated that the TV drama will not only speak about the life of Ip Man, but rather the story about Chinese martial arts. During his era, martial artists such as Ip Man deeply believed that martial arts strengthened the people as well as China.
Ip Man’s son, Ip Chun (叶准) and Ip Ching (叶正) will serve as the martial arts consultants for the Ip Man TV drama. The outstanding production team behind the drama has already generated hot buzz for the drama.
The lead actor to play Ip Man in the TV drama has not been determined yet. The ideal candidate should possess a martial arts background.
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Jayne: Very curious as to who will be cast in China’s TV version of Ip Man. The qualifications of the production staff sound quite impressive in this mega-project.