IP Man 3 just introduced two interesting additions to its cast. Former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson comes aboard and will fight the legendary Donnie Yen, who is reprising his role as the title character. If that wasn’t cool and/or weird enough for you, the filmmakers also plan to use a CG version of Bruce Lee instead of having an actor portray the Kung Fu legend.
Ip Man 3 begins filming today in Shanghia, China with a reported budget of $36 million. Wilson Yip, who directed Ip Man and Ip Man 2, returns to helm this latest installment in the popular international action franchise. Producer Raymond Wong and writer Edmond Wong are also back for this third and possibly, but likely, final film. President of Pegasus and IP Man 3 producer Raymond Wong told THR:
“Two years ago, Mike Tyson opened a Weibo [the Chinese microblogging site] account and the first question he asked was: “Who is the best fighter in China?” Someone said “Donnie Yen” to him, and that gave me an idea. For the third episode of the Ip Man series, we want to have an explosive fight, and Mike Tyson vs. Donnie Yen fits the bill.”
Mike Tyson released his own statement, saying:
“Who is the best boxer and kung fu master in China? Wait for me, I’m coming. Thank you for introducing me to Chinese kung fu.”
The story of Ip Man follows a Chinese martial artist who lived from 1893 to 1972. The man popularized the fighting style of Wing Chun, a technique specializing in close combat. His most famous student was Bruce Lee, who would later develop his own discipline called Jeet Kune Do. Born in Foshan, Guangdong, China, Ip moved to Hong Kong and opened the Wing Chun school in 1949. This would be the first of the sequels to feature Bruce Lee as himself. The film’s producers couldn’t find an actor who could portray the intensity of the kung fu legend on screen, so they went the CG route, hoping to recreate the Bruce Lee as authentic as possible.
Mike Tyson has an important role in the film, playing a real estate developer who is also a vicious street fighter. Ip Man 3 will be released in cinemas around the world in 2016 and will be presented in 3D. There have been a number of other Ip movies released over the past few years, including The Legend Is Born – IP Man and Ip Man: The Final Fight. Producer Wong thinks the fashion has faded a bit, so now is the time to come back. He proudly declares:
“Audiences suffered from Ip Man fatigue for a while, but the waves of Ip Man films have calmed down now, so it’s time to present our third episode!”
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