Donnie Yen: My last kung fu film has a genuine 'Bruce Lee'

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 28, 2019
Two film posters show the depictions of Ip Man and Bruce Lee in "Ip Man 4" [Image courtesy of Bona Film Group]

Hong Kong actor Danny Chan, known for his incredible resemblance to Bruce Lee and having portrayed Lee in several films and TV series, will reprise the role in this installment after his brief cameo in "Ip Man 3." He posed for a photo with Yen at the press conference, reenacting a kung fu practice scene originally involving Lee and Ip Man. Wednesday Nov. 27 would have been Lee's 79th birthday if he had survived.

Donnie Yen again takes the role of legendary martial arts master Ip Man as he did in three earlier movies of the popular franchise, while confirming this is the last time to do so.

"You heard correctly, this is not only the last time I play Ip Man, but also the last time I do a kung fu movie," he said, then writing the Chinese characters of "goodbye" on a wooden dummy prop to say farewell to his kung fu fighting career stretching over three decades.

"I'm honored and grateful to have been able to make this franchise, I love it and audience love it too, which has also changed people's impressions on me. But as an actor, I need to move on and explore other possibilities in acting, rather than just being a kung fu star."

"Ip Man 4" is directed by Wilson Yip and produced by Raymond Wong; joining them again will be Yuen Woo-ping, one of the most successful and influential Hong Kong martial arts choreographers. Other notable stars, aside from Yen, include former US Marine and action actor Chris Collins and another Chinese kung fu star Wu Yue.

The "Ip Man" franchise has been successful in China and around the world. The trilogy, plus a spin-off "Master Z: Ip Man Legacy," received many accolades and awards including various Hong Kong Film Awards. The installments in the franchise have made a total of $260 million at box offices worldwide, the revenue mostly coming from China. This amount does not include successful DVD sales all over the United States, Asia and Europe.

"Ip Man 4" is set to hit the big screen in China on Dec. 20, but no date has yet been set for its American release, though Hong Kong-based producer Mandarin Motion Pictures has sold the film's distribution rights to Well Go USA covering North America and the U.K.

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