Acclaimed Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai has set his sights on the life story of Ip Man (pictured), the real life kung fu master of the legendary star Bruce Lee, as the subject of his next film.

A spokesperson of Wong's production outfit, Jet Tone Films, said that Ip's family has agreed to serve as consultant to the new film and has allowed Wong access to rare video footage of the master.

Originally from China, Ip dedicated his whole life in teaching Wing Chun, a form of martial arts.He was noted for bringing Wing Chun to a high point and was recognised as one of the greatest martial arts masters.

Tony Leung, a favourite star of Wong who was last seen in this year's Cannes competition film 2046, is attached to play Grandmaster Ip in the film which has the working title of Yi Dai Zong Shi (The Grandmaster).

The film is believed to feature a young Bruce Lee although the cast has not been decided. Lee trained with the grandmaster for several years in the late 1950s in Hong Kong before breaking from Yip's tradition training to develop Jeet Kune Do. Shooting the film will begin next year at the earliest.

Wong's 2046, which took four years in the making, is now scheduled for a worldwide release in early October, while Eros, a triptych of short films about love and sex, on which he collaborated with Steven Soderbergh and Michelangelo Antonioni, will be released in early 2005. Gong Li and Chang Chen star in Wong's segment of Eros.