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Thread: True Legend

  1. #1
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    True Legend

    Yuen Woping taking on Beggar So with Chiu Man-Cheuk, Guo Xiaodong, Zhou Xun, Jay Chou and maybe Michelle Yeoh? I'm in. I could lose Jay, but after Painted Skin, I'm getting into Zhou Xun.

    Matrix choreographer takes the director's chair
    By Keen Zhang
    China.org.cn staff reporter

    Chinese martial arts choreographer and film director Yuen Wo Ping announced yesterday that he will direct a new Kung Fu epic entitled True Legend.

    Yuen Wo Ping is one of most famous and influential figures in the world of Hong Kong action films, with a series of Kung Fu classics like Drunken Master to his name. But the last film he directed was 1996's Tai Chi Boxer, since when his efforts have been geared to his work as Kung Fu choreographer on a series of Hollywood Kung Fu copycat action flicks such as The Matrix and Kill Bill.

    The new film, True Legend, will tell the story of Chinese-style martial arts master So Chan, a wealthy man of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) obsessed with Kung Fu, who fell from grace to become a beggar after he and his family became the victims of conspiracies. However, after reviewing his past and working hard to transform his life, and now honored as "King of Beggars", he rose again as a Kung Fu legend, patriot and folk hero.

    Beggar So's story has been adapted several times into TV dramas and films, including 1992's renowned comedy film King of Beggars by Hong Kong directors Gordon Chan and David Lam and starring Stephen Chow and Cheung Man.

    Yuen's new star-studded cast will include Kung Fu star Chiu Man-Cheuk, Guo Xiaodong, actress Zhou Xun, and singer Jay Chou. Yuen revealed yesterday at a press conference in Beijing that Michelle Yeoh will also join the cast.

    Yuen said this new film will have little by way of comedy -- rather it will be a tragic but inspiring drama. The cast members all told China.org.cn that they have read the script and considered it to be a touching story. How touching will it be? It will move you to tears, they said.

    Taiwan pop star Jay Chou will play the role of the all-powerful "Kung Fu God", Yuen revealed. Chou said he is also considering writing and recording the theme song for the film, just as he did with Jet Li's Fearless. Fending off mounting doubts around Chou's participation, Yuen described him as a "cool guy" -- just right for the role and with the potential to do a good job in the film.

    Chou, himself a Kung Fu fan, has directed and taken the lead role in two of his own films: Kung Fu Dunk and Secret last year. He also starred in Chinese blockbuster Curse of the Golden Flower by Zhang Yimou. The pop musician's ultimate star power with the younger generation is a factor that film-makers are desperate to exploit.

    But Yuen insists Chiu Man-Cheuk, a true Kung Fu champion who, like Jet Li, first won fame in national and provincial martial arts competitions, is the man to deliver the spirit of the film and the leading role of beggar So Chan. Chiu Man-Cheuk's most successful films include Once Upon a Time in China 4 and The Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    i remember

    yuen was going to do a super hero movie with ekin chueng, it sounded like a weak version of batman i think it was called the black mask or something along those lines, and they were looking for fighters around the world, guess that didn't pan out. i been hearing some things about this film for like a month or so, cast looks decent kung fu dunk turned me off to jay chou as an actor but i'll give him a second shot.

  3. #3
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    more info from sina

    On November 2, Sunday afternoon, a press conference for 《苏乞儿》 True Legend, directed by Yuen Wo Ping, was held in Beijing. The cast for the film includes Zhao Wen Zhuo, Zhou Xun, Michelle Yeoh, Guo Xiao Dong, Andy On, Jay Chow, Will Liu, etc.



    True Legend official site, containing production diary, character designs, concept arts, stills, videos, news, etc. was made known, and a short behind-the-scene footage was shown. Doubts were raised by the reporters concerning Jay Chow playing a martial arts doyen responsible for raising Beggar Su's skills since he lacks martial arts and acting ability.

    Yuen Wo Ping, who has some difficulties expressing himself in Mandarin, introduces that True Legend has a good quality script, presenting everything in a well-rounded manner, including character developments, from a happy family to it being torn asunder, to the protagonist regaining his confidence, getting a grip on himself... When he showed the script to his wife, she gave him the encouragement to direct the film.

    Yuen Wo Ping continues, "While there're some comic relief elements, this is basically a serious dramatic production. It also has very good action scenes and is different from other works on Beggar Su."

    Yuen Woo Ping adds that being a director is very a tough job, having to take care of everything. Much more difficult than being a martial arts director. It took him 9 months to a year to go through the script, doing pre-production.

    He feels that when doing something that is difficult, you must do it successfully, or your effort would be wasted. Most importantly, you have to do it wholeheartedly.

    And he'd come up with something new for each of his films, and accordingly, there'd be quite a bit of surprises in store in True Legend, including "something innovative in the martial arts sequences."

    On being asked about the budget and release date of True Legend, Yuen Wo Ping says, "I have no idea about the budget, you have to ask the boss. When I direct movies, what I want, the boss must provide, must meet my requests, or I wouldn't do it. Whatever I need, I just have to tell them. The release date? No idea. We'll know after wrapping up."

    Zhao Wen Zhuo, who plays the protagonist Su Can, says that its the script that attracted him most to True Legend, "It's not often that I see martial arts films with scripts that are so moving. I was so touched when I first read the script, I was moved to tears. The character is very moving, and of course, with maestro Yuen Wo Ping directing, how could you turn down this project?

    "I've done a lot of preparations for this film. After accepting the role, I began my training. Eighth Master suggested a training schedule, training what he wanted me to do in the film. And most importantly, I had to shed 9kg for the film, for Beggar Su can't be too plump. So I kept up with my training routine and went on a diet. I feel lighter and more agile after losing weight.

    "I have long heard that Yuen Woo Ping is especially demanding, and I got a taste of it during training, like how you should swing the weapon, where he'd dodge, and you must do a series of action in one single breath, and have to be more careful as such.

    "I have great expectations for the film, since Eighth Master is the world renowned martial arts director. He hasn't directed any films in many years, so I especially look forward to its release, especially this type of kungfu film."

    On hearing Yuen Wo Ping was casting her, Zhou Xun wondered if she would get to fight , only to learn that she'd merely be playing a drama role, but "Having left a good impression on Eighth Master in True Legend, I'd get the chance to have fight scenes in future collaborations."



    Playing Zhao Wen Zhuo's wife, Zhou Xun is very moved by the script too, "This character stirs me immensely, what touches me most is after a major turnabout of events, she suddenly becomes very strong, her husband relies on her encouragements, her love, to grow up.

    As UNDP China National Goodwill Ambassador, Zhou Xun, who went green after watching An Inconvenient Truth, has been actively spreading word on environmental sustainability and raising environmental awareness in the view of the urgency of climate change, advising everyone on the set to use recyclable products, like bringing their own crockery rather than disposable ones, etc.



    On a separate occasion, Zhou Xun says, "Statistically, raising livestock for meat is responsible for one quarter of the world's greenhouse gases. Many green organisations are encouraging people to cut down on meat. I'm basically a vegetarian now, hardly taking any meat now, I believe that everyone should try to go on vegetarian diet at least once a week."

    According to Guo Xiao Dong, he plays an ardently patriotic person, a hot-blooded youth who's inspired by Beggar Su to stand up against foreign invaders. Annd, under Beggar Su's guidance, he rises up in ranks from a foot soldier. Guo Xiao Dong says that he's very glad to be able to work with Yuen Wo Ping and hopes to achieve breakthrough in the film.



    True Legend, produced by Edko Films, Shanghai Film Group, and Beijing New Times Film Culture and Development, is eyeing a summer 2009 release. Sina

    website: True Legend

  4. #4
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    Nice site, Doug

    It'll be interesting to see if Bai Ye can keep that blog going.

    Edko lines up stellar cast for Yuen Wo-ping's True Legend
    Sen-lun Yu in Beijing
    03 Nov 2008 19:15

    Renowned action choreographer Yuen Wo-ping (The Forbidden Kingdom, Kill Bill) is directing a martial arts biopic, True Legend, starring Chiu Man-cheuk, Taiwanese pop singer Jay Chou, Michelle Yeoh and Chinese actors Zhou Xun and Guo Xiaodong.

    Edko (Beijing) Management and Consulting Ltd, the Beijing-based subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Edko Films, has announced that it is co-producing the film with Shanghai Film Group and Beijing New Times Film Culture and Development.

    Yuen directed the 1978 martial arts action title Drunken Fist, which propelled Jackie Chan from being a virtual unknown to an action star. However, Yuen has not directed a film for the past 12 years, during which time he has been known as an action director, with credits including the Matrix film series and the two Kill Bill films.

    Set in the Qing Dynasty, True Legend tells the story of So Chan, a wealthy man obsessed with kung-fu, who fell from grace to become a beggar after he and his family became the victims of conspiracies. He later transformed himself into a martial arts master, patriot and folk hero, honoured as the "King of Beggars".

    The same story has been previously adapted into several films and TV dramas including Yuen's 1993 film So Hat-yi and Gordon Chan's 1992 King Of Beggars, starring Stephen Chow.

    Chiu (Once Upon A Time In China 4, The Legend Of Fong Sai-Yuk) will portray the master So Chan, while Jay Chou will play a master who inspired So during his time of frustration. Zhou Xun will play So's wife and Chinese actor Guo Xiaodong will play So's opponent. Michelle Yeoh's character is yet to be announced, according to Yuen at a press conference in Beijing.

    The film started shooting last month in Huang Shan of Anhui Province and Beijing. The release date is set for mid-2009.

    In addition to True Legend, Edko Films is also producing Tian Zhuangzhuang's Warrior And The Wolf for 2009 release. Maggie Q and Japanese actor Jo Odagiri co-star in the historical action drama. Edko is co-producing the film with Japan's Ogura Jimusyo Co, China's Perfect World Culture and Singapore-based MediaCorp Raintree Pictures.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  5. #5
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    this movie is getting alot of buzz among american distributors

    i'm thinking mostly because its yuen woo ping who has created a brand name so to speak here in the states, this movie just might get a theater realease hopefully not buy WC. while they have done wonders with dragon dynasty. they have a bad track record on theater releases when it comes to MA films. hell china won't even let them film there next movie shanghai in shanghai because of what happened with the chen kage film. i hope someone like rogue or lionsgate or warner gets it. they'll make a better release.

  6. #6
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    interesting tidbit

    I just heard of someone else being connected with this film, one of our recent cover masters no less. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to disclose it yet so I'm taking the road of prudence and letting y'all guess. All should be revealed soon enough. Word is he leaves for China to film next month.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    I don't suppose there's any back issues of that Wang Zi Ping issue are there?

  8. #8
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    Wang Ziping?

    I'm afraid we sold out of our 1998 July issue a long time ago. Besides, Wang Ziping is dead, so he's not the cover master that's going to be in True Legend. Unless you meant the other person on that cover, Wang's granddaughter, Grace Wu-Monnat, who is still very much alive. It's not her either.

    Click below for pics.
    Jay Chou Supports Kung Fu Master
    2008-11-11 11:04:07 CRIENGLISH.com

    Pop singer-turned actor Jay Chou is seen in Yuen Woo-Ping's upcoming action film "True Legend." Chou plays a minor role supporting Chiu Man-Cheuk, whose character Su Qi-Er is a legendary martial-arts master. The film, which began shooting last week, also stars actress Zhou Xun. It is a remake of Yuen Woo-Ping's own 1993 film "Su Qi-Er," known in the West as "Fist of the Red Dragon."
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I'm afraid we sold out of our 1998 July issue a long time ago. Besides, Wang Ziping is dead, so he's not the cover master that's going to be in True Legend. Unless you meant the other person on that cover, Wang's granddaughter, Grace Wu-Monnat, who is still very much alive. It's not her either.

    Click below for pics.

    Glad there's the online article. Thanks Gene!

    I'm interested in Wang Ziping because of his Muslim background. I'm trying to find as much information as I can on Muslim kung fu in China. Heck, information on Islam in China in general. Google and Yahoo haven't served me well.

    I don't have a guess for who the True Legend is.

  10. #10
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    Well, that's a little OT...

    ...but check out these other cover stories; they both have Muslim elements:

    The Muslim Master of the Old Empire: An interview with Grandmaster Ma Xianda by Gigi Oh, with Gene Ching

    Where Wushu Went Wrong: Wushu's Leading Champion, Zhao Changjun, Extols Traditional by Gene Ching and Gigi Oh

    You should also search Tantui and Chaquan. There's a lot on our Shaolin forum here.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  11. #11
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    Thanks Gene. Sorry to derail the thread a bit.

  12. #12
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    small update

    gonna try and keep this thread alive and breathing if only because its about begger su who has always intrigued me. True legend update

  13. #13
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    wow

    been going to the wrong site for updates on this, seems that michelle yeoh's site has a day by day update plus tons of photo's:

    http://michelleyeoh.info/Movie/truelegend.html

  14. #14
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    gene is all over chadni chwok

    so i guess its up to me to keep true legend alive. looks like cung le has joined the cast. man he is all over the place.

    Cung Le Joins True Legend as a Brigand Chief

    -- True Legend --

    Guo Xiao dong, Zhao Wen Zhuo, Cung Le, Jacky HeungTrue Legend is currently being filmed in an indoor set created on a soundstage in Huairou, Beijing. Seen on the set are director Yuen Wo Ping, cast members Zhao Wen Zhuo, Cung Le, Guo Xiao Dong, Jacky Heung, etc. The set features a brigand stockade built on a mountain.

    Cung Le, the MMA, K1, Sanshou champion, has been specially flown in from USA to play the brigand chief who looks remarkably like Bull Demon King lifted straight off Journey to the West.



    Cung Le is especially glad to be able to work with Eighth Master Yuen Wo Ping. Be it the role, the make-up or action, Cung Le'll do his level best and give his full cooperation. Being his first period film, he'll be like a student, humbly learning things on the set. He's also trying to learn to speak Chinese. With blessing from the production, he'll get to keep his costume as a memento.

    Zhao Wen Zhuo finds it very different when working with Eighth Master. In the film, under the director's request, he has to execute an assortment of martial arts, including the Eighteen Arms. It's also very physically demanding as Yuen Woo Ping stresses very much on authentic fighting and True Legend contains much more action scenes than anything he has done before.


    Zhao Wen Zhuo says it's very challenging to work with Eighth Master. A few days ago, they employed a mini-helicopter for shooting within an indoor set. He had to keep a lookout for the helicopter hovering above his head while fighting.

    On the current scene at the stockade, Zhao Wen Zhuo says that this set gives an actor immense anticipation, for there are plenty of room and areas for martial arts choreography. He looks forward to his heart-stopping match against Cung Le as Beggar Su storms the stockade in a rescue operation whereby Yuen Wo Ping has also come up with many difficult moves, making use of the bridge, cave, fake hills, etc to showcase different martial arts. Netease, Sina

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    True Legend contains much more action scenes than anything he has done before.

    im already loving it
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

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