Wong kar-Wai’s films always take the long road to the big screen, and his upcoming return to martial arts filmmaking, “The Grandmasters,” is no exception.
After a lengthy shoot and several delays, the film finally has a trailer to get excited about — but no U.S. release date. Wong is reuniting with his “2046” stars Tony Leung (“Lust, Caution”) and Zhang Ziyi (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) for this typically gorgeous-looking biopic of martial arts master Ip Man (Leung) who famously trained Bruce Lee. Song Hye-kyo and Chang Chen also star.
The trailer’s in Chinese with no English subtitles, but the images largely speak for themselves.
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Wong, working with cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd (“A Good Year,” “Seven Pounds”), brings the same lavish devotion to the filmic image showcased in his earlier martial arts foray “Ashes of Time” (1994), as well as in his more recent romantic dramas “In the Mood For Love” and “2046.” Those films, however, were shot by Chris Doyle, whose work is looser, brighter and more dream-like, for lack of a better phrase.
Wong’s last film was the disappointing English-language “My Blueberry Nights,” which starred Norah Jones and Jude Law, and it will be interesting to see him back on his home turf and back in the martial arts genre. His long-running collaboration with Leung has now spanned seven films, including “Ashes of Time,” “In the Mood For Love” and “Chungking Express.”
“The Grandmasters” will be released in China on December 18, although U.S. distributor Annapurna Pictures still hasn’t set a North American release date.
What do you think of the trailer?