Media Asia Chairman John Chong has officially confirmed that Donnie Yen, Edmond Wong, Wilson Yip and Raymond Wong are again on board as star, screenwriter, director and producer, respectively. Budgeted at over $30 million dollars, Ip Man 3 will be released in late 2015, just in time for the Christmas-Chinese New Year season.
After an unexpected turn as the infamous titular character in The Monkey King, which opens in theaters on January 30, Donnie Yen plans to return to his iconic Ip Man role in the film series’ third installment, which is expected to begin filming next year.
According to Chong, Ip Man 3 was originally scheduled to be filmed from June to September 2013. However, Donnie was involved in other film projects. Director Wilson Yip also had other work obligations during that time and thus recommended that Edmond Wong switch from screenwriter to director. Edmond was busy preparing for his wedding, so filming was postponed until the year after.
The producers hope that Ip Man 3 can be filmed sometime next year and emphasized that the film will definitely have a 3D release.
“I’ll leave that to fate, but I’ll definitely play Ip Man again,” says Yen of his now-classic portrayal of the Wing Chun legend. “I won’t be doing it any time soon, though, because there are so many Ip Man [movies] around. You are Ip Man! He is Ip Man! Everyone is Ip Man! Even the audience is getting bored at the moment.”
At the beginning of 2013 Raymond Wong announced that Pegasus Motion Pictures had spent 150 million RMB in order to bring back the dream duo of Donnie Yen and Wilson Yip to film Ip Man 3 in Hangzhou in July.
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. Wilson Yip 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. 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, whereas Donnie will go from the set of The Iceman Cometh 3D directly to that of Teddy Chan’s One Person’s Martial Arts Circle.
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.”
Does it mean we will see just another Ip Man movie without dream duo or maybe even trio Donnie-Wilson-Sammo?
It looks like Ip Man 3D may not make it off the ground after all. Now that Donnie Yen has launched his own production company, Super Hero Films, he gets to make the films he wants to make. Apparently director Wilson Yip has lost his desire to shoot Ip Man 3D now that Ip Man has become such a pop culture figure – with prequels and sequels from other filmmakers besides Donnie Yen and Wilson Yip. And Donnie says if Wilson doesn’t make Ip Man 3D, then neither will he.
Everybody knew Donnie Yen will return for Ip Man 3, which will focus on the story between Ip Man and his disciple Bruce Lee, but nobody expected to see it in 3D format!
Producer Raymond Wong in 2012 consulted with the original crew of the Ip Man martial arts movie on how to make the third movie more interesting and crew came up with idea of 3D. Not so original, but popular decision… anyway, who cares that costs will be higher, fans will buy their tickets for sure, especially when knew that Ip Man 3 will be focused on the relationship between Ip Man and Bruce Lee.
There is no actor chosen for the Bruce Lee role, so we have to wait for director Wilson Yip to decide. Donnie Yen of cause expressed interest in filming Ip Man 3, even did not see the script yet. Since the script was currently under development, another prediction can be made – movie will feature Ip Man in his old age.
Do you agree 3D will add more dimension to the Wing Chun fighting scenes in Ip Man?
I can say that Ip Man martial arts movies are the most successful and one of the top Asian franchise of all time, since Tony Jaa released the first Ong Bak film in 2003. Donnie Yen’s portrayal as Ip Man was highly praised and his martial arts skills captivated and stunned worldwide fans. In the beginning of March, to the delight of martial arts fans, it was announced that Donnie may be reprising his role in the Ip Man 3: The Final Chapter.
Filming is scheduled to start this August. Director Herman Yau has started the pre-production preparations of the Ip Man 3, which will shoot at Xiqiao DreamWorks, China’s second largest filming studio after Hengdian World Studios. Xiqiao Dreamworks is located in Foshan and is the new billion dollar venture which offered movie makers an impressive 8-million square feet filming base.
What is interesting that rising diva Rose Chan, who you have seen in The Legend Is Born: Ip Man movie, can star alongside Donnie. Producer Raymond Wong said that original cast of the movie franchise has an interest in the third installment, or it will the 4th movie?
The Legend Is Born Ip Man is no rip off of the Donnie Yen film, rather an excellent companion piece with a slightly different interpretation of the title character, packed with drama, excellent production values and some wonderful martial arts fight scenes. The cameo by Sammo Hung, and having Yuen Biao in a co-starring role, helps sell the pedigree of this film no end. An early blind-folded match between master and student is an excellent reminded of the two actor’s considerable skills as martial arts performers.
However, we have 4-5 months of waiting, while Donnie is filming martial arts action movies Special Identity and The Iceman Cometh 3D, moreover, in his almost 50, Donnie has an interest in exploring other film genres such as comedy.
Hey, wait! How about Bruce Lee character?