Kevin Cheng Pockets $7 Million For “Ip Man” Role!

TV King, Kevin Cheng (郑嘉颖) is putting his music aspirations on hold in order to film mainland Chinese TV drama, Ip Man <叶问>. Allegedly, Kevin will earn $7 million RMB for the coveted role! Earlier, the announcement of Kevin nabbing the coveted role of the legendary Wing Chun martial artist came as a surprise, as Vincent Zhao (赵文卓) was expected to be cast as the male lead. It is understood that the script will develop Ip Man’s character with more depth and emotional development, instead of simply focusing on his martial arts abilities.

Kevin Cheng Selected for His Popularity

Aside from Vincent Zhao, other actors who were initially linked with the Ip Man TV drama included Taiwanese  actor, Wallace Huo (霍建華) and pop idol Wu Chun (吳尊).  Kevin was selected to portray Ip Man due to his immense popularity in China and his appeal to a wider range of audience. Investors in the TV production were particularly impressed with his roles in A Fistful of Stances <鐵馬尋橋> and Gloves Come off <拳王>, in which he exhibited good acting and fighting skills in the dramas.  

Kevin Cheng Will pocket $7 million from Ip Man drama!

Currently, Kevin Cheng allegedly earns $250,000 RMB per television episode. His current market rate increased after appearing in megahit time travel drama, Bu Bu Jing Xin <步步惊心>. To entice Kevin to take on the role of the Ip Man, investors in the TV production reportedly increased Kevin’s earnings to $280,000 RMB per episode. It is estimated that he will earn an extravagant sum of $7 million RMB from the drama!

TVB executive, Virginia Lok (樂易玲) stated earlier that Kevin’s goal is to own 3 mansions. With the enormous sum of money landing in his pocket after filming Ip Man, it appears that Kevin will be multiple steps closer to his dream!    

Music Album Put on Hold

Initally, Kevin had intended to complete current mainland Chinese dramas and return to Hong Kong in the second half of the year to prepare for his EEG music album. Although his last album was launched in 2006, it is Kevin’s dream to reinstate his singing career again. It was understood that EEG has concert plans for Kevin next year.

Ip Man will perhaps be Kevin’s most challenging role to-date. Kevin expressed his excitement and a keen interest after reading the script. In addition, he will also earn a magnificent sum of $7 million RMB after the filming. Drawn by these enticing factors, Kevin decided to put on hold his music plans for the TV drama. 

“Ip Man” Drama to Air in December

Tony Leung’s (梁朝偉) upcoming film, The Grandmasters <一代宗师> is scheduled to release in December 2012. The producers of the IP Man TV drama also have plans to air the TV drama in December as well, in order to capitalize upon the current popularity and audience demand for Wing Chun martial arts productions.

The Ip Man TV drama will trace the origins of Wing Chun and how it evolved into a respected martial arts practice. Kevin’s role of Ip Man will also focus on the vulnerability and emotional aspects of the legendary Wing Chun master. Mainland actress, Cecilia Han (韩雪) will portray Ip Man’s wife, Cheung Wing Sing. Kevin and Cecilia will portray a deep love relationship, which will withstand the turbulent era.

The drama will have a strong production crew, whereby, Chinese famous Director Fan Xiaotian’s (范小天) and Taiwanese prominent producer, Yang Peipei (杨佩佩) will add their filming expertise. Ip Man’s sons, Ip Chun (叶准) and Ip Ching (叶正) will also serve  as the martial arts consultants. Even Ip man movie director, Wilson Yip (葉偉信) will lend his power to the TV drama as a filming consultant!

 Source: Ming Pao

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  1. There wasn’t enough fighting in “A Fistful of Stances” (disappointing) and I haven’t seen “Gloves Come Off”, so I don’t know what to say about casting KC in a martial arts role.

    But aren’t people tired of Ip Man? I know I am. How about doing a TV drama on Yim Wing-chun? Has there ever been one?

    1. Addy,
      TVB filmed a short drama on Yim Wing Chun, starring Michelle Yim in the role. It was not a huge production and did not really shine plot wise or action wise. I think Shek Sau (??) was her costar.

  2. Hopefully he spends some of that money on martial arts lessons. 😉

    1. lol well i think if he puts his mind in2 it.. i think he should be able pass off as ip man a resonable one

    2. TVBFanatic,
      With Ip Man’s two sons consulting on the martial arts movies, there should be authentic depiction of Wing Chun moves.

      I took a brief Wing Chun class due to “Ip Man” craze too. Martial arts is great way to tone the body! Love that it’s equipment free in training.

      1. I knew it. The production sounds good and Kevin’s wrong casting will be helped by the great backstage production.

    3. Normally big budget productions will give actors free training and free instructors. They will also provide a body double for the no face shots and there will be a martial arts adviser and instructor during the scene.

      1. Vincent and Donnie will make more authentic moves, but Kevin don’t have to worry for his lack or martial arts because this series seems like well prepared for martial arts choreography with the two sons being involved.

  3. Wallace Huo was linked but never really hugely a contender.

    Even if RMB10million, sometimes perhaps some actors should graciously bow out in favour of others more suitable or with better background. Is like asking an actor to film the history of shaolin without any background in any kung fu more so shaolin kung fu. Why those wong fei hung movies and ip man movies so successful is because despite the lack of acting, etc the kung fu skills is real. Of course this ip man can be like the old WOng fei hung series where the actor didn’t do kung fu but became rather iconic.

    However looking at the very prominent story of the very popular and respected Ip Man, I question not whether Kevin can do kung fu (there are stunt actors for that) but can he even act as the respectable master who fought the japanese? Can he look credible as the man everyone calls master, even Bruce Lee?

    I am sorry to say no he can’t. Kevin is a likeable person but even if he is dubbed, he does not have that master feel. If money is the driving force, I hope money will also force him to take 3 months crash course in kung fu, whatever form it may be. Even taekwondo just for the sake of looking credible. Sometimes you just have to bow out. Like you can’t be James Bond, you need to bow out for a better actor.

    I would have thought Ip Man will be the best thing to promote perhaps a new unknown or lesser known young actor who knows kung fu. Didn’t Jackie Chan and many says there are no suitable replacements for them? Ip Man the series can be the showcase for that. I mean any actor is a better actor than Kevin in terms of drama and Ip Man is dramatic in some parts. What a waste of a good platform where China has a wealth of young actors trained in Beijing acting academy and what nots, time to discover new talent and fans are forgiving towards new actors who prove they can pack a punch and my feeling is these youngsters can act so much better than Kevin and yet the producer chose the easy road by choosing someone popular rather than someone suitable.

    If Kevin succeeds, he will earn praises and admiration. If he fails, it will mean him being ridicule like he was in my opinion in series such a A Fistful of Stances.

    Yes the format can be changed to less kung fu, more dramas but Ip Man at its heart is a story of a man driven by the principles of his deep respect for kung fu, it all revolves around that and to take away the emphasis is to take away Ip Man. So Why bother calling the series Ip Man in the first place?

    As Kevin’s somewhat supporter, I hope he succeeds. He has a tall mountain to climb but if he falls, and if he fails, he will be absolutely trashed.

    This series can also mean success commercially but slaughtered critically but producers want money so they don’t care.

    But my feeling is IS Kevin THAT famous in China to command that sort of money? Because after BBJX everything else he did after (not withstanding TVB series) is either lambasted or not much success. Is this a case of false success?

    In my opinion not even Wallace Huo is suitable however much I like him and however much he can fight more credibly. Such a series demands for someone trained.

    It is to me worst casting decision but like how Daniel Craig proves legions of naysayers wrong, I will be happy to be proven wrong by Kevin Cheng.

    1. ” Investors in the TV production were particularly impressed with his roles in A Fistful of Stances and Gloves Come off , in which he exhibited good acting and fighting skills in the dramas. ”

      You mean they see $$$ and now backtracking to give valid reasons because of the investors weren’t asleep whilst watching these 2 series, they might be more inclined to cast Kenneth Ma or Raymond Wong instead. What horrible examples to quote.

      1. You seem to have too high opinion of yourself. Those guys are professionals with considerable field experience, not just armchair critics with too much free time. They have done their homeworks, are better informed and understand much of what’s required.

        If you can really read Chinese (which I doubt that you could), you will realise that this will not be an extended TV version of the Ip Man movie. The emphasis is different, more of a biography involving different aspects of Ip Man’s live.
        This is what the producer has to say about this series:
        … 总导演范小天强调并非打造一部加长版的商业武侠剧,而是将拍成一部充满人文关怀的“作家电视剧”。演绎“一问一问又一问,叶问问到高山上”的传奇人生。

      2. Kenny, if they’ve done their homework Kevin should not be the 1st choice. And yes I do have a high opinion of myself since in the end this series will be marketed to people like myself. And no I can’t read Chinese so does that mean your opinion is far superior than mine?

        Why is it that replies are often tinge with unneeded sarcasm when a simple reply without that sarcasm would have made your point much better? Is it because you feel a need to stand out by first insulting other people’s genuine comment? Counter me all you want but leave the sarcasm out.

      3. Funn, do you work in the industry or close to those people involved in the project? Otherwise you are just a conceited loony woman.

        You are just one of the millions of audience, but you don’t represent the audience. The main audience are the Mainland Chinese, not a Malaysian who is basically Chinese illeterate.

        Sorry, that I have to say this about, and I dont think any sarcasm will suffice against your thick skin.

      4. Sorry Kenny… as was even outlined on this forum KC received a lot of bad press over his terrible technique in Gloves Come Off. Watch it.

        Investors are speaking out to build the TV series and their investment. What investor is going to say “yeah, he’s terrible at Kung Fu but we hired him anyway!”

        Investors hired him because he is the hot property on the mainland for the moment, and they want to sell the series on his name.

      5. TVBFanatic,

        Absolutely true! Sometimes, I found out that many KC’s fans like him because of his look and body instead of his acting. And that’s why he can’t succeed in music industry because his fans want to see his look and body, not hear his voice (though another reason is that he can’t sing).

      6. TVBFanatic,
        The GCO scenes is not that bad aas potrayed by certain section of HK media. HK media and KC do get along well, as he refused to cooperate with them.
        The producers have looked at GCO and thought that it was not bad.
        As I have said much earlier,the series will be challenge. However, monetary is not the main reason, as he has a few offers form other producers at the same time too. He chose Ip Man because he wants the challenge or at least this is what he said in recent interview with Mingpao:


      7. When I look at GCO, the boxing skills are not great and Ray Wong is better than KC. The special one is Nancy.

      8. Kenny,

        Interesting, because from an audience’s point of view, KC was terrible in GCO. Does how the producer’s point of view matter?

      9. “Funn, do you work in the industry or close to those people involved in the project? Otherwise you are just a conceited loony woman.”

        No, are you?

        “You are just one of the millions of audience, but you don’t represent the audience. The main audience are the Mainland Chinese, not a Malaysian who is basically Chinese illeterate.”

        So you’re saying the millions of overseas viewers do not matter? Because I swear they would want to earn more money by selling the series everywhere else which last I check does consist of a whole of Chinese or other races who are chinese illiterate. By the way it is not illeterate. Use google to spell check next time.

        “Sorry, that I have to say this about, and I dont think any sarcasm will suffice against your thick skin.”

        Of course I do, I am a person even with thick skin, especially when I am faced against a rude conceited person such as yourself whom I believe any comment will not matter and whose reply aims to insult rather than comment. Point is a bit of due courtesy would work well in your comment rather than going for rudeness tinged with sarcasm. Of course you wouldn’t care what I think since I am a Chinese illiterate loony woman. Oh by the way a lot of people here are Chinese illiterate but can’t say they’re loony or not.

        Kevin, one word of advice. Next time when you’re commenting, leave that sarcasm at home. We are here to comment, sometimes with a bit of wit and hopefully with a bit of wisdom but rarely with sarcasm at fellow commenters. But since you can’t or won’t, I suppose I should tell you you weren’t funny at all. Not even witty. But point taken and since I am a loony woman, surely whatever I say doesn’t matter.

      10. Oh and I am so loony I can’t even get the name right. It is Kenny, not Kevin. I wasn’t thinking of Kevin Cheng of course. But I suppose why bother with just a name, not important enough I suppose. But I do apologise for calling you by another name, how inconsiderate of me.

    2. I have my doubts that Kevin will be able to prove his critics wrong because like everyone said he is just not cut out to play Ip Man. He doesn’t commands the presence at all.

      1. Just give Kevin a chance… He may surprise everyone, who knows??

      2. He Tie Shou yes we should gve kc a chance.. wll look at the silver lining at the moment.. ths ipman may focus more on ip personal life hence nt much fighting involve.. maybe thts why the investors hired kevin

      3. SY, you male of female? I am trying to keep count of conceited loony commenters who feels KC is a miscast.

  4. “TVB executive, Virginia Lok (樂易玲) stated earlier that Kevin’s goal is to own 3 mansions. ”

    And 620 laughs with glee as she sees her one true love so successsful and claps her hands excited hoping one of the mansion shall have a room for her. She seems so excited for him.

  5. Are these producers watching the same AFOS and GCO that we watch??????

  6. Not everyone is mercenary and although RMB7,000,000 has been offered Kevin for the role of Ip Man, if I understand him a little even, it is the honour more than the money that is more attractive. After all he has, by now, earned quite a bit already. Like the Olympics, the honour of winning a gold would be more precious than getting the $2,ooo,ooo as reward. Kevin is very focused and determined in his work and I don’t think he’s greedy for money. With all the experts behind him I am sure he’ll not only not make a fool of himself but instead surprise all his critics with his performance.

    1. It’s always better than he get dissed now than when the series is broadcast. Without expectations, if he does an acceptable job, the audience will do a double take, and be impressed.

      I will wait to eat my words.

    2. I’m sure he will do ‘well’ with help of dubbing, choreographer team, stuntmen and big budget mainland series.

      1. How come mainland series always have BIG budget? and TVB dont?

  7. I really dont think his performance in GCO is good enough. His arm muscles are quite saggy in the series. I still prefer vincent :/

    1. In AFOS I like the unknown bad guy who in the end is not really that bad guy. He looks like a real fighter.

  8. Bad casting, but dubbing, strong choreographer team, good script, great body double, big budget production will give Kevin glowing praises by fans later.

  9. I heard Mainland actors ask for high price (even the non-famous) Maybe this is the reason Mainland producers are inclined to non-Mainland actors. I assume K is not a high paid actor compare to the Mainland mediocre actors

  10. Not sure whether this drama will be good or not, but I’m very sure that there will be a lot of topless scenes by KC in this drama since this is the only way he can use to gain popularity rather than relying on acting.

    1. Yes, KC relies more on topless scenes compared to other actors, but who cares about him? He is the one that loses the advantage to audiences. It’s not that we have to pay money to watch it. It’s free of charge! LOL…

  11. @Funn,

    “You mean they see $$$ and now backtracking to give valid reasons because of the investors weren’t asleep whilst watching these 2 series, they might be more inclined to cast Kenneth Ma or Raymond Wong instead. What horrible examples to quote.”

    I’m wondering why you think Kenneth Ma would be a better cast. I get Raymond Wong but Kenneth Ma, although I think he’s a great actor, does not strike me as particularly athletic to pull off a martial artist role. I didn’t see AFOS, maybe that’ll clear things up.

    1. Do watch AFOS. At least he looks fantastic in those white uniform thing, In fact if he just stand there, not speak, just pose, he does look very very handsome in that martial art sifu way. And he packs a meaner punch than Kevin who perhaps may be better off as a taoist kung fu wuxia series.

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