Crouching Tiger producer Bill Kong to make first film about legendary kung fu master Wong Fei-hung in almost 20 years.
Producers Bill Kong, Liu Erdong and Ivy Ho are reteaming to give kung fu master Wong Fei-hung a new spin in Rise of the Legend.
The epic will be a co-prodution between Edko Films, Irresistible Delta and BDI Films Inc. It reunites the producers with director Chow Hin Yeung and screenwriter Christine To.
The actor playing the title role is being kept under wraps but the film starts principal shooting tomorrow [Aug 20] in China.
Rise of the Legend chronicles the origins of the kung fu master and his emergence as a figure of righteousness and justice during the last years of the corrupt Qing Dynasty.
Joining the cast are martial arts star Sammo Hung as Wong’s mentor, teen idol Jing Boran and martial arts champion-turned-actor Zhang Jin (The Grandmaster).
The production team includes action director Corey Yuen, director of photography Ng Man Ching and production designer Pater Wong.
Kong, who produced Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero and Fearless, said: “For Chinese-language movies, only kung fu works internationally. But a real kung fu movie is a rare occasion these days, which is why I want to pay tribute to this genre.”
It marks the first time director Chow Hin Yeung has taken on the kung fu genre. He said: “It’s been almost 20 years since the last Wong Fei-hung movie was made. I aim to portray the legendary character from a different angle – a young man with dream. His dream is the only thing that holds him together. His youth gives him the power of persistence and endurance, and shapes him to become a legend.”
The stories of Wong Fei-hung have been featured in more than 100 movies and television series, most famously portrayed by Jet Li in Tsui Hark’s Once Upon a Time in China series in the 1990s.
Kong and Ho’s last producing effort, Cold War, was the highest grossing Hong Kong film of 2012. It went on to sweep the Hong Kong Film Awards, winning nine trophies including best film, director, screenplay and actor for Tony Leung Ka Fai.
Rise of the Legend is slated for wide release in the second half of 2014. Edko Films is handling international sales.