Hong Kong’s Pegasus Motion Pictures is introducing the third part of its hit Ip Man franchise in Cannes – the most ambitious installment yet which the company is planning to shoot in 3D.

The project, which has an estimated budget of $36m, will again star Donnie Yen as the eponymous kung-fu master who trained Bruce Lee (and is also the subject of Wong Kar-wai’s upcoming The Grandmasters). Wilson Yip, director of Ip Man and Ip Man 2, will again direct.

Yip will be travelling to the US and Europe to scout for 3D technicians and expertise to shoot the film, as well as exploring Asia where 3D production standards are rising. He hopes to start production in December for release at the end of 2013.

In the first two installments, Ip Man fought the Japanese in China, then moved to Hong Kong and clashed with colonial British rulers and competing schools of kung-fu. Bruce Lee makes a brief appearance as a child at the end of the Ip Man 2.

Again scripted by Edmond Wong, the third installment will focus on Ip Man’s relationship with Bruce Lee as an adult until his untimely death and will have a positive message.

“The theme of the film is how to live your life in a meaningful way, taking inspiration from Bruce Lee whose life was short but had great impact,” said Pegasus executive director Alvina Wong.

The producers have started the search for an actor with kung-fu skills to play the adult Bruce Lee. Lynn Hung, who appeared in the first two Ip Man films, will again star, and the producers are also in talks with Simon Yam.

Pegasus is also selling Ronny Yu’s $32m historical action film Saving General Yang, which features an ensemble cast of hot pan-Chinese actors, and Vincent Kuk’s comedy Love Is Pajamas, starring Ronald Cheng and Raymond Lam and Lynn Hung.