After two years of development, three years in production, and some release delays, Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmasters finally opened in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore last month. It’s the director’s biggest hit by far and the film’s distributors want a sequel. Wong Kar-wai is considering it, which would mean yet another Ip Man movie in the pipeline: there’s also Wilson Yip/Donnie Yen’s planned Ip Man 3D and the forthcoming Ip Man: The Final Fight starring acclaimed Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong. (The Grandmasters 2 probably wouldn’t be out for another five years, though.)
If Wong Kar-wai does do a sequel, it will be without his star Tony Leung Chiu-wai. The Playlist notes some rumors of a falling out between the actor and the director, who’ve collaborated on six previous films, including Chunking Express, In the Mood for Love, and 2046. Leung simply says he’d rather do something new since he’s been with this character so long.
In one last bit of news surrounding The Grandmasters, the film is being trimmed down for its international release. It seems that after rushing to finish the film for its Chinese release, Wong Kar-wai is trying to make sure the movie plays well to western audiences. At least 15 minutes have been cut from the movie’s original 130-minute runtime. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a rough cut of the film was around four hours long. A director’s cut has been promised, though no word on how much of that four-hour cut will be retained.
The Grandmasters will play at The Berlin Film Festival this week. No US or UK release dates as of yet.[The Hollywood Reporter via The Playlist]