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Thread: Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

  1. #1
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    Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

    Quentin Tarantino Hatches ‘Star Trek’ Movie Idea; Paramount, JJ Abrams To Assemble Writers Room

    by Mike Fleming Jr
    December 4, 2017 5:03pm


    REX/Shutterstock

    EXCLUSIVE: Already busy prepping to direct the film he just set up at Sony Pictures, Quentin Tarantino is also planning to boldly go where he has not gone before. Sources said that Tarantino has come up with a great idea for a Star Trek movie at Paramount. After sharing his idea with JJ Abrams (who himself is busy prepping Star Wars Episode IX), I’ve heard the plan is to assemble a writers room of scribes who’ll hear Tarantino’s take and begin to put together a movie. If it all works out, Tarantino might direct it, with Abrams producing.


    JJ Abrams
    REX/Shutterstock

    While Tarantino has always come up with his own original films, many have wondered what he might do if he took the reins of an existing franchise. He has only done that on television, twice directing episodes of CSI and once an episode of ER. He has spoken about the appeal of taking on one of the James Bond movies, but the hard part of something like that is getting the rights holders to give him a wide creative swath that comes along with a final cut auteur like Tarantino. This would give a remarkable boost to the venerable franchise for Paramount, which is looking to build them under studio chief Jim Gianopulos.

    As Deadline revealed last month, Tarantino agreed to make his next film for Sony Pictures. The untitled film is an ensemble that deals with a period in Los Angeles around the time of the Manson murder spree around 1969. He has asked Margot Robbie to play Sharon Tate, and has been discussing two great male lead roles with Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, though he hasn’t yet set final casting. Release date is August 9, 2019. That is the 50th anniversary of the death of Sharon Tate, but the description of the picture as a Manson Family pic isn’t really accurate, kind of like describing Inglorious Basterds as a movie about Hitler.

    Paramount declined comment, and attempts to reach Tarantino’s camp were unavailing. Stay tuned.
    Tarantino would be amusing, but I'd rather see David Leitch take the con.
    Gene Ching
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    Cathy Yan

    Not sure if this new spin-off is Gotham City Sirens or something else, but I'll post it here for now, as well as on Batgirl.

    APRIL 17, 2018 8:22AM PT
    Cathy Yan to Direct Harley Quinn Spinoff Starring Margot Robbie
    By Justin Kroll @krolljvar
    Film Reporter


    Suicide Squad Harley Quinn
    CREDIT: COURTESY OF WARNER BROS.

    Cathy Yan has been tapped to direct a DC spinoff movie centered on crazed supervillain Harley Quinn. The girl gang movie will be based on the “Birds of Prey” comic, with Margot Robbie attached to star.

    Robbie’s LuckyChap is producing with Sue Kroll and her Kroll & Co Entertainment, along with Bryan Unkeless of Clubhouse Pictures.

    Yan, a former Wall St. Journal reporter who made her feature debut with Sundance entry “Dead Pigs,” will be the second female filmmaker to direct a DC film, following Patty Jenkins with “Wonder Woman.” She will also be the first Asian woman to helm a movie from the DC Comics universe. DC previously tapped Ava DuVernay to direct “New Gods,” which is still in development.

    Christina Hodson, who was recently tapped to pen the “Batgirl” pic, wrote the script. The studio had been weighing several Quinn options, including a “Suicide Squad” sequel with Gavin O’Connor, before picking “Birds of Prey.” Sources add that script is still being worked on, but Yan is likely to take over directing reins once the script is done.

    Production is expected to start at the end of the year after Robbie finishes shooting Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” for which she is currently in negotiations to play Sharon Tate.

    The sequel to the Harley Quinn-starring “Suicide Squad” is also expected to begin production in 2018. Gavin O’Connor is on board to write the sequel and is also in talks to direct the film that co-stars Will Smith and Jared Leto.

    Yan is repped by CAA. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.
    I suppose I should start a thread on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood because if it's about Tate, it should include Bruce Lee.
    Gene Ching
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    Mike Moh as Bruce Lee?

    I copied the post above from our kung fu star trek people thread (don't ask - blame Jamieson) and the other from Gotham City Sirens. I think there's more about this here on the forum somewhere but I'm not going to search it out right now.

    Quentin Tarantino Rounds Out Cast With Spencer Garrett, Martin Kove, James Remar, Brenda Vaccaro, Nichole Galicia, Mike Moh
    by Mike Fleming Jr
    July 10, 2018 2:12pm


    Manfred Bauman/REX/Shutterstock

    EXCLUSIVE: Quentin Tarantino has rounded out his cast of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Spencer Garrett, Martin Kove, James Remar, Brenda Vaccaro, Nichole Galicia, Mike Moh, Craig Stark, Marco Rodriguez, Ramon Franco and Raul Cardona.


    REX/Shutterstock

    They play a variety of characters alongside stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Burt Reynolds, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Scoot McNairy and Al Pacino.

    Garrett, best known for Syfy’s The Magicians and HBO’s Insecure, plays Allen Kincade, TV personality/interviewer to Hollywood’s elite.

    Once Upon a Time takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippie Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (DiCaprio), former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor: Sharon Tate (Robbie).


    Galicia
    REX/Shutterstock

    Stark previously worked with Tarantino in The Hateful Eight and Django Unchained. Remar also worked with Tarantino in Django Unchained and is a favorite of the director for his work in films including Black Lightning. Kove shoots the film as he reprises as the iconic karate bad guy in Cobra Kai, YouTube Red’s Karate Kid spinoff.


    Moh
    REX/Shutterstock

    Garrett is repped by Abrams Artists; Kove is with Advanced Management; Remar is Gersh and Lighthouse Entertainment; Vaccaro is Stewart Talent; Galicia is Innovative and Silver Lining Entertainment; Moh is WME and manager Chris Lee; Stark is Framework Entertainment; Rodriguez is Ellis Talent Group and Mills Kaplan Entertainment.


    Stark
    REX/Shutterstock

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is produced by David Heyman, Tarantino and Shannon McIntosh, and Sony Pictures will release it August 9, 2019.
    Read Bruce Lee: A Life by Matt Polly to get the connection (if you don't already know).
    Gene Ching
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    Interesting concept. I definitely wanna see this when it comes out.

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    Be Water My Friends.. Bruce Lee Training Video



    Mike Moh in 2015
    Gene Ching
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    Zawierucha as Polanski

    Quentin Tarantino Casts His Roman Polanski in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’
    BY ADAM CHITWOOD AUGUST 28, 2018



    The cast for Quentin Tarantino’s new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood just keeps growing, even as filming has been underway for weeks. To be fair, this film has a giant ensemble so adding bit players to do a scene here and there isn’t difficult to do during production—but one major role has now been filled: that of filmmaker Roman Polanski. Indeed, when it was first announced that Tarantino was moving ahead on a new movie, the initial reported plot details were that it was a film revolving around the Manson Murders. That turned out to be a bit inaccurate, as it soon became clear that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is about Charles Manson the way that Inglourious Basterds is about Adolf Hitler—that is to say, the figure appears in the film, but isn’t a main character.

    The story of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood takes place in 1969 and follows a fading Western TV star (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double (Brad Pitt) who wonder where their place in Hollywood is at the turn of the decade. Additionally, DiCaprio’s character lives next door to Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), who of course was brutally murdered by Manson’s followers.


    Image via Sony Pictures

    A major question arose, then, as to whether Tarantino would also be including Roman Polanski as a character in the film. We now know for sure that he is, and THR reports that Polanski will be played by Polish actor Rafal Zawierucha, who’s pretty much an unknown here in the States.

    It’s unclear how much screentime will be given to Polanski, and we still don’t know for certain if Charles Manson is in the film and who’s playing him. THR says that Danny Strong, Sydney Sweeney, Clu Gulager, James Landry Hébert, and Mikey Madison have also now been added to the massive ensemble, but for those worried this thing is going to be overstuffed, it sounds very much like this will be an Inherent Vice-like situation. The film has already been described as Pulp Fiction-esque in structure and scope, so while there are a lot of people in this movie, it sounds like Tarantino is filling out every single role with a known performer, even if the role only has a couple of lines. Which is pretty perfect considering this is a movie about Hollywood.

    Production continues and we still have a ways to wait until the film’s July 26, 2019 release date, but I wonder if Tarantino is aiming for a Cannes Film Festival debut in May as he’s done with some of his previous films. If that’s the case, we may get our first reactions to the film earlier than expected.

    The announced ensemble for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood now also includes Lena Dunham, Maya Hawke, Timothy Olyphant, Burt Reynolds, Damian Lewis, Luke Perry, Dakota Fanning, Clifton Collins, Keith Jefferson, Emile Hirsch, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Scoot McNairy, Al Pacino, and Nicholas Hammond


    Image via Sony Pictures Classics


    Image via Sony Pictures
    Indeed, who as Manson? Interesting that Moh doesn't make the list in this article...
    Gene Ching
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post


    Mike Moh in 2015
    I hope Tarantino gives the Bruce Lee character a bit of the depth of his actual personality, rather than making him a charicature of BL's movie characters. Which means havin him thumbing his nose, screaming "Waaasaaaahhhh!", and all the other BL imitation stuff (almost) everyone else has done. BL was a talker; by all accounts, he talked a LOT, which in itself would fit in perfectly in a Tarantino movie. I'd rather see the BL character doing more of that than prancing around like a puppet trying to mimic BL's MA skills (which almost always end up being his MOVIE MA skills as opposed to how he actually behaved).

    I'm fully aware that Tarantino is all about alternative, revisionist history in which historical characters talk and act like modern-day people, and I'm not expecting the BL character to have much of a part in it. But I would NOT want him presented onscreen like Tarantino presented the "Pai Mei" character in Kill Bill 2; as a schlock cinema character to be spoofed to a ridiculous degree. BL had an interesting personality and sense of humor in real-life. I would hope that Tarantino has done some homework on him and attempts to capture some of that onscreen.

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    Better late then never

    Enter The Legend: 'Dragon' Turns 45
    Download Transcript
    August 17, 2018 4:53 AM ET
    Heard on Morning Edition
    JUSTIN RICHMOND


    Bruce Lee on the set of Enter the Dragon.
    Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

    When the seminal martial arts film Enter the Dragon premiered in August 1973 — 45 years ago this weekend — it was exactly what Bruce Lee had been waiting for: A starring role in a Hollywood production.

    Kung fu meets blaxploitation, and all action, Enter the Dragon was a hit at the box office. It grossed over $20 million in the United States, even beating out a Steve McQueen film, and was Warner Brothers' top grossing film internationally that year.

    It sparked an explosion of martial arts movies — which until then had largely only existed in Hong Kong. It was supposed to make Bruce Lee a star.

    "Enter the Dragon was really a very precious project for him," says Shannon Lee, Bruce's daughter. "And the one that he had been waiting for."

    What Bruce Lee wanted to do was to create a heroic Asian male character, but it simply didn't exist.

    Matthew Polly
    But a month before the film's premiere, he died. Instead of becoming a star, he became a legend.

    Before martial arts films, Lee was a child actor in Hong Kong.

    He played mostly dramatic roles. One film, The Orphan, actually made him a bit of a celebrity there — his performance was compared to James Dean's in Rebel Without a Cause.

    But any fame he had quickly disappeared when he left Hong Kong for the U.S., where he moved when his family felt he was getting in too much trouble at home. Lee, who had been a martial arts student since his early teens, decided to make a living as an instructor.

    He didn't plan on acting but was discovered by a TV producer. William Dozier, who produced the popular Batman TV series, cast Bruce Lee as sidekick Kato in The Green Hornet.


    YouTube

    The Green Hornet debuted on ABC on Sept. 9, 1966. Oddly enough, the original Star Trek series, featuring George Takei as Sulu, premiered the same week. Both shows were significant for casting Asian-American males in prominent roles on TV.

    That was far from the norm.

    "Up until The Green Hornet, it really was pretty much a wasteland as far as Asian-American continuous representation on television," says Jeff Yang, a writer and host of the podcast They Call Us Bruce.

    The Green Hornet didn't catch on like the Batman series and was canceled after only a year. After a few more guest spots on TV and a movie, Lee was ready to play a new type of character — one that didn't yet exist for Asian males in Hollywood.


    Bruce Lee
    A Life
    by Matthew Polly
    Hardcover, 640 pages purchase

    "What Bruce Lee wanted to do was to create a heroic Asian male character," says Matthew Polly, author of the new biography Bruce Lee: A Life. "But it simply didn't exist. There were only two types of roles — Fu Manchu, the villain, and Charlie Chan, the model minority. And both of these characters were played by white actors in multiple films during the '50s and '60s."

    It was about this time Lee caught a lucky break.

    He went back to Hong Kong to visit family and was greeted at the airport by producers eager to cast him. It had been over a decade since his last role in Hong Kong, but The Green Hornet had been playing there — except there it was called The Kato Show. Lee was again a star.

    He decided to make martial arts films for Hong Kong audiences. He made three: The Big Boss, Fist of Fury and Way of the Dragon. All were hits in Hong Kong. So Lee reached out to a producer he knew at Warner Brothers.

    Which is where Enter the Dragon, well, enters. A co-production between Lee's Hong Kong studio, Golden Harvest, and Warner Brothers, it was the first martial arts film produced by an American studio. Lee was finally the heroic Asian star of a Hollywood movie. And he kicked butt.

    Lee died a month before the film's release in the U.S. and didn't get to see the lasting influence it would have.

    Without 'Enter the Dragon' most of the video games that we associate now with martial arts — certainly all of the television shows and films that have come afterwards ... would not be the same.

    Jeff Yang
    "Without Enter the Dragon most of the video games that we associate now with martial arts — certainly all of the television shows and films that have come afterwards ... would not be the same," Yang says.

    "You know, we take for granted now that Hollywood action movies, they have martial arts, they have fight choreography, they do all this amazing stuff," says Phil Yu, the writer behind the site Angry Asian Man. "Before then we hadn't really seen martial arts in that context in a Hollywood film."

    Lee's influence stretched beyond the screen. The Wu-Tang Clan's first album, one of the landmarks of hip-hop, was called Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in honor of Lee's last film.

    "Man, I used to bang my hands on the wall trying to get iron palms, scrape my hands with beans," says the RZA. "I got stretch marks on my shoulders because of kung fu things I was trying to do."

    Forty-five years after his death, Lee still turns up all over popular culture — just this week, Quentin Tarantino announced a new actor in his upcoming 1969 period piece, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. The role? Bruce Lee.
    THREADS:
    Enter the Dragon
    Bruce Lee: A Life by Matt Polly
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    Gene Ching
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    Bruce for Burt

    Bruce Dern Replaces His Friend Burt Reynolds In Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’
    by Mike Fleming Jr
    September 27, 2018 10:51am


    Shutterstock

    EXCLUSIVE: Quentin Tarantino is setting Bruce Dern to play George Spahn in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. That was the role that Dern’s longtime friend Burt Reynolds was going to play but was unable to shoot before he died on September 6.



    Dern, who played the most ****ed-off man in the world as former Confederate general Sanford Smithers in Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, will join a stellar cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, James Mardsen, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis, Lena Dunham, Emile Hirsch, Luke Perry, Scoot McNairy and James Remar. The film is a Pulp Fiction-esque tapestry of stories in an around Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, when Charles Manson and his followers massacred Sharon Tate and others. The film will be released July 26 by Sony Pictures. David Heyman is producing with Shannon McIntosh and Tarantino.

    Two-time Oscar nominee Dern currently is filming Remember Me in Spain, but producer Atit Shah and director Martin Rosete rearranged the schedule so Dern could leave that production to shoot Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.


    Instagram

    Dern takes over the role of Spahn, a near-blind 80-year-old man who rented out his L.A. ranch to be used as the location for Westerns. Manson convinced Spahn to allow him and his followers to live on the ranch, in the months before they murdered Tate and six others. In exchange for rent, Manson coerced his female followers into hopping into bed with the ranch owner and serving as his seeing-eye guides, per reports. Adding to the creepiness: Manson acolyte Squeaky Fromme, the woman who later would attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford, reputedly got her nickname because she would making a squeaking noise when Spahn touched her.


    Hallmark

    Tarantino has ostensibly gotten another ’70s film icon to replace Reynolds, who waited years for a chance to prove himself in a big movie. He finally had gotten one when the director set him for the role, tapping a forgotten talent the way he did in past films with the likes of David Carradine, John Travolta, Pam Grier, Robert Forster and Michael Parks.

    Dern and Reynolds appeared together several times over the years, including Hard Ground, a 2003 Western for Hallmark; the 1999 TV movie Hard Time: The Premonition on TNT; and a 1965 episode of the ABC WWII series 12 O’Clock High.

    Dern has been turning in one strong performance after another lately. He currently co-stars opposite Matthew McConaughey in the Yann Demange-directed White Boy Rick and played bitter patriarch Joe Kennedy in Chappaquiddick. Before The Hateful Eight, Dern had a role in Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and he was nominated for an Oscar in the Alexander Payne-directed Nebraska. He’s repped by Innovative and Pure Arts.
    Never knew that about Squeaky.

    I'm a big fan of Dern's work. What an amazing career he has had.
    Gene Ching
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    Zoe Bell

    Women of Action: Meet a Hollywood Female Stunt Coordinator (and a Favorite of Quentin Tarantino)
    6:45 AM PST 12/6/2018 by Mia Galuppo

    Zoe Bell, whose credits include 'Kill Bill' and 'Inglourious Basterds,' says she never felt fear until the director hired her to oversee all the stunts on 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.'

    Zoe Bell has been strapped to the hood of a speeding Dodge Charger and thrown off a building. But the 40-year-old stuntwoman never truly felt fear until she was hired by Quentin Tarantino as the stunt coordinator on the now-shooting Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. "As a performer, the more I scare the stunt coordinator, the better," she tells THR, during a break from shooting. "But now I'm the stunt coordinator, and I'm the one getting scared."

    The New Zealand native trained as a gymnast and was beginning to study martial arts when her father met a stunt performer at his job as an emergency room doctor. “[He] came home with a phone number.” Bell laughs, “My dad looked at this guy with a concussion and thought, ‘My daughter should do that!’” Six months later, Bell, then 19, was on the set of cult fantasy series Xena: Warrior Princess, doubling star Lucy Lawless. (“They must have been desperate!” she jokes). What followed has been a decades-long career that included doubling for everyone from Sandra Bullock in The Proposal to Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok.

    She started working with Tarantino back in 2003, when she landed a gig as Uma Thurman's double on Kill Bill. "Quentin asked me what my motivation was," she recalls of shooting the film's action sequences. "He wanted me to think like an actor. It wasn’t just about doing a left, a right and a side kick. I had to be [the Bride] doing a left, a right and a side kick.”

    Bell and Tarantino continued working together on films like Planet Terror and Inglourious Basterds, and she even starred as herself in Death Proof, the Tarantino film that stars Kurt Russell as a murderous stunt driver. But her job on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio as players in Charlie Manson-era L.A. — is her first time as the woman in charge on a production of this size. “[Tarantino] threw out of the possibility of me coordinating and I was like, ‘Holy crap!’” says Bell, who had begun to make the jump to the director’s chair, herself. She had just been admitted to the AFI's Directing Workshop for Women and is planning to take the year off to dedicate herself to the program. “It was the epitome of champagne problems,” she says of the crossroads. “Ultimately, I thought [Once Upon a Time] is family. It’s Quentin. Also, women don’t often step into this role.”

    A stunt coordinator oversees the production's entire stunt department — from budgets to equipment to on-set safety to, of course, hiring. When it came time to build out her crew, Bell, now a department head, made a point to hire inclusively. “I posed the question: ‘What about girls for safety [positions]?’ I only had to ask it one time before my team, men and women, started throwing out names. But it took me stopping to realize that I hadn’t asked the question.”

    While female stunt coordinators are a rarity, Bell says she hasn't had any issue commanding authority. She credits her tight-knit crew of Tarantino regulars who've seen her entire journey. “I was a baby and now I am heading a department,” she says. “I have come a long way from a girl with pigtails and acne showing up and going, ‘Hey guys, I’m here! Where do you want me to fall over?’”

    And while Bell worked to ensure safety behind the scenes on Once Upon a Time, she will also be featured onscreen in a particularly meta role: “I play the stunt coordinator’s wife.”


    A version of this story first appeared in the 2018 Women in Entertainment Power 100 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
    This article came with an embedded vid, so here's a pic.


    Nice to see her get some recognition.
    Gene Ching
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    More on Mike Moh

    Martial Arts Studio Owner Plays Bruce Lee in Film
    by Paul Steinbach December 2018



    Mike Moh grew up in Minnesota idolizing Bruce Lee. On June 26, the 35-year-old father of three will appear on the big screen as Lee, the legendary martial artist and actor, in Quentin Tarantino's new film "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." How did the proprietor of a martial arts school in Waunakee, Wis., wind up in the same cast with Kurt Russell, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino and Leonardo DiCaprio? With a fighting spirit, as AB senior editor Paul Steinbach learned during a conversation with Moh on Lee's birthday, Nov. 27.

    What's your day job like?
    I started by teaching in a little community center that we have here and then we've just been outgrowing everything. We've had four different locations, so hopefully this new studio that we've just opened up will last us a few more years. I went from 3,400 square feet to about 9,000, and this was the first space that I actually had full control over the layout. About 40 percent of it is dedicated to an "American Ninja Warrior"-type gym for kids, with a lot of the same obstacles you'll see on that TV show, but then the main part of it — about 60 percent — is our martial arts training facility.

    How would you characterize your clientele?
    We're a family martial arts school, so I would say 70 percent is kids, but we have a lot of parents training with their kids, and we do also have an adult program. We definitely have students of all ages — from as young as four to students in their 60s. We have over 400 members now, and that's just on the martial arts side. With our ninja gym, it's not really a membership base. We do a lot of birthday parties. We do classes in sessions as opposed to an ongoing membership.

    To what extent has the entertainment industry helped popularize martial arts in America?
    In America, martial arts really took off when a guy named Bruce Lee became mainstream. He was a big catalyst for the big popularity jump in martial arts in America. Then in the '80s, when "The Karate Kid" came out, that was huge — a huge boost to the martial arts industry, as well. Martial arts, for as long as I've been alive, has always had a big place in mainstream media, whether it's cartoons or video games or movies, and Taekwondo, with all the kicks that we do, is very visually appealing, to kids especially.

    What draws clients to Moh's Martial Arts?
    I would say the number one thing that gets the parents to sign the kids up is they want their kids to build their confidence and self esteem. Some schools focus strictly on self-defense. Some are very heavy into competition. Our school's main focus is life skills. It's kind of like a school of life, but the vehicle to teach that is the discipline of martial arts. And I think that goes hand in hand — the discipline that they need, the respect they need to show themselves and others and their teachers. I think that's the reason we've grown so fast, especially in this community. It's a very family-centric community and people value high morals and values and work ethic. We like to think of ourselves as partners in parenting.

    Can you summarize your school's curriculum?
    We teach about 80 percent traditional martial arts, the traditional forms or the katas. We do sparring with rules sets of Taekwondo. We do board breaking. We do weapons practice. And then the modern martial arts is some of the more modern takes on self-defense, as far as mixed martial arts, and we integrate a little bit of kick boxing. We just kind of take from different styles that I feel are applicable and exciting for the students to learn, that are outside of the traditional realm of Taekowndo curriculum.

    Do you see martial arts as an effective fitness regimen?
    Absolutely. The movements that we're doing are pretty high-intensity. Our classes in particular are fast-paced and energetic. We have some really high-level athletes and competitors in our school, and they're very fit just from the nature of our difficult training.

    When did you personally get started?
    I started at 12. I grew up playing video games that had martial arts in them. I watched the Ninja Turtles. I watched all the Jackie Chan and the Bruce Lee movies with my dad, and I remember my dad telling me that he — as a part of his military service — had done Taekwondo as a young man. I just kind of gravitated toward martial arts. When I first started taking classes after convincing my parents, I just kind of fell in love with it and that became my thing.

    What about Lee, in particular, appealed to you?
    What was cool about Bruce is he had a very unique perspective and philosophy on life — not just martial arts, but life. When I talk about our school mixing in different elements of different martial arts, not necessarily that we're teaching UFC-style fighting, but when I say mixed martial arts, we're not just stuck to one style of Taekwondo. I'm open to bringing in different useful and exciting things of other martial arts and mixing it in with our curriculum. Bruce Lee was famous for doing that. Back in the day, you were either a Kung Fu guy or a Karate guy or a Jiu Jitsu guy. There was no mixing the arts. It was frowned upon. He was the first person to step outside and say, "To hell with that." He would do what he thought was useful and effective.

    Can you describe how his philosophy has impacted you?
    I think one thing that's kind of stuck with me through the past two years is that all the challenges that we have are still blessings, but we don't really know what's next. That's been exciting, but also kind of a challenge having three kids and trying to balance that and not knowing exactly what my next job will be or where I'm going to be for the next few months. My wife recently left her job to take on the lead role of the ninja gym. It's been a lot of change, so the thing that I really like to live my life by that Bruce shared was to be like water. When the water needs to be strong, it can crash. When the water needs to creep and flow, it can find its way around a problem. So adapting to different life circumstances that are presented and using different methods to problem-solve — going with the flow sometimes, and sometimes barging straight through if you need to.

    Are there parallels to be drawn between martial arts and acting?
    Absolutely. I think the kind of mental toughness that I built from martial arts has prepared me well for the acting career. I took the same approach to becoming a good actor that I did with being a martial artist. It's just a process. You start at the bottom. You start as a white belt, and then with every little challenge that you accept, or little role that you get, you get more experience and you build your confidence. Now I feel like I'm reaching the point where the momentum is starting to roll downhill after such a really tough upward battle. But even in martial arts, I'm a white belt in Jiu Jitsu. I just started taking another style. And even with Taekwondo, there are many kicks that still are challenging for me and forms that I'm not very good at, so I'm still a student myself. I think that's another mindset I try to pass on to my students of all ages. Even if you accomplish something, you're always going to be a student. You should always approach every challenge with a white-belt mentality, that there's always more to learn.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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    Continued from previous post

    How did you land the role of Bruce Lee?
    I spent about eight or nine years in Los Angeles as an actor. I've been on different shows and smaller movies, but that kind of led me to get the right team in place. I have a team of managers — an agency out in Los Angeles — and they're always looking out for different things that might be right for me. They contacted me about this film and were able to get me an audition.

    Was it a long process?
    It's not very common for an actor to live in Wisconsin, so I have this unique setup where I tape my auditions. I send it to my team, and they forward it on to casting. And if they like me, it's kind of known that I'm willing to fly myself out to meet them to do a second audition or meet the producers or directors. That's kind of how I've gotten jobs in the past couple of years. I did a Marvel TV show on ABC called "Inhumans," which was short-lived but an exciting ride. And then this audition came up, and for this one, the project was so secretive, they would not allow me to tape it. They didn't want any of the material out on the internet, so I had to fly with maybe 12 hours notice. My agents called me and they said, "Hey, we need you to be out here." So I caught a flight a couple hours later, and I auditioned with the casting director and they showed it to Quentin Tarantino. Then a couple weeks later I had to fly out again to meet him, because he responded to my audition so well. It was a process of about two months that I had to fight to win the role. I think I flew out there a total of three separate times. I jumped through a lot of hoops. They also tested my martial arts ability. I had to do some intensive training before we went on camera. I was doing three weeks of training and then a full week and a half of filming. It was a really exciting but stressful time in my life, but now looking back, it's all good.

    What was it like meeting Tarantino?
    It was really surreal. He's one of the top directors of all time, and you can see why he's so successful, because he's just passionate — super passionate about film — and loves doing what he does. It's infectious. It's something I will always remember and hold dear, just this whole process.

    Were you a fan of his going into that face-to-face?
    I'd seen a lot of his movies. I definitely knew of his work, but it wasn't something like I studied all his movies or anything. Anytime any actor hears that name, it's synonymous with greatness. My nerves were high, and I knew that this would be a big moment in my entertainment career moving forward. The stakes were definitely high.

    How does it feel seeing your name among Russell, Pacino, DiCaprio?
    It's a little wild. They recently finished filming, so my wife and I got invited to the wrap party. We flew to Los Angeles, and I got to meet a lot of the cast that I did not get a chance to work with in the film. You know, I feel like a fan with unprecedented access to some of this Hollywood stuff. But in reality, I'm an integral part of the film, and it's going to be a really memorable thing to be a part of. When you say those names, it's like I definitely don't feel I'm worthy to be mentioned among them, but everybody's got to start somewhere, and hopefully somebody will mention my name and be humbled and honored to work with me someday. That's the goal.

    How important are your physical skills to your marketability as an actor?
    I knew when I first started out in this business that my martial arts ability would be my edge, so I knew going in that I was going to market myself somebody who can do that. When I first started, I did a lot of commercials as a ninja or a martial-arts-type guy. As I progressed, slowly and surely, I played a waiter on the show "House" on Fox years ago. I said one thing. A little tiny role. But, you know, you start somewhere. I prefer action roles that require both action and acting. That's kind of like my wheelhouse. But I'm really proud of the fact that I've been hired just for my acting ability, as well — things where they don't know that I'm a martial artist. I think that's what has allowed me to continue to work, where I'm not just one-dimensional. Obviously, this role that we're talking about now with Tarantino is kind of like a dream come true. I get to do both. Moving forward I'd love to do more of just straight acting roles, as well.

    Would you ever give up teaching to act full time?
    I don't think I'll ever stop doing martial arts, and I love to teach. It's a passion of mine. Would I step away full-time, doing it every day? I think I would have to. Something would have to give. But I've been working really hard the past few years on building my team up, knowing that if my goal is to act in movies and be on TV series and fulfill that goal part of my life, then I don't want to be the guy who leaves my students high and dry. That's why I've been training my team to make sure that when I'm gone for long periods of time that the experience doesn't drop off and that everybody is in good hands. I would love to be able to stay in Wisconsin and teach when I'm able to and then try to balance it all. Who knows what reality will bring? But I do know that whether my acting career takes off or whether this is just kind of like a fun little thing, I'm very happy doing both. So there's no pressure. It's just kind of riding the wave and seeing what comes next. I think I would still own my school or maybe in the future I'll have more than one and continue to just mentor my team to make sure that they have the tools and the recipe for success.

    Is there any evidence of your acting alter ego in the studio space?
    I don't throw it in anybody's face and make the studio all about me, but it's not something that I hide. I do share my victories with the students as a point of inspiration once in a while. They know that I've worked on this film, that it was a big dream of mine, and that I accomplished it. I think that's powerful for the kids to know that, hey, I still have goals and dreams that I'm working to achieve. It doesn't always go the way I want, but look, I didn't give up. I got to celebrate the victory with them. And I do cool little things, like every summer we do a movie star camp where I help the students make a film. I get to share a lot of experience that I've had in my life and create opportunities for kids that I'm pretty confident no other martial arts school can provide. It's been fun.

    This article originally appeared in the January | February 2019 issue of Athletic Business with the title "Martial arts studio owner goes Hollywood as Bruce Lee." Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry.
    Whatever happens, his school attendance will blow up. Good for him.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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    ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD - Official Teaser Trailer (HD)

    Gene Ching
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    People covers Moh

    Everything to Know About the Martial Arts Expert Playing Bruce Lee in Tarantino's New Movie


    Mike MohRichard Harbaugh via Getty
    Mike Moh is going viral for facing off against Brad Pitt as Bruce Lee in the trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    By ERIC TODISCO
    March 20, 2019 03:35 PM

    The first teaser for Quentin Tarantino‘s massively anticipated Once Upon a Time in Hollywood dropped on Tuesday. And while Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate all made expected appearances — one major newcomer made a surprise splash playing Bruce Lee. (He even faces off against Pitt in the footage, leading the Internet to go wild.)

    The late famous martial artist and actor, who died in 1973, will play a potentially significant role in the upcoming film. He’ll be brought to life by Mike Moh, a performer who not only bears a striking resemblance to the late icon, but is also an accomplished martial artist in his own right.

    News first broke of Moh’s casting in August 2018 when Tarantino selected him for the part. The film explores DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters who venture into the Los Angeles film industry around the same time of Sharon Tate‘s murder at the hands of the Manson family.

    Here are five things to know about Moh.

    1. He is a black belt in martial arts

    Moh has plenty of martial arts experience that undoubtedly helped him land the role. He earned his fifth-degree Taekwondo black belt when he was 14 years old — just two years after he began the sport.

    He has also won several Taekwondo world championships, and both owns and is the chief instructor at Moh’s Martial Arts in Wisconsin.

    2. He has appeared in several TV shows including Empire

    Moh brought his martial art talents to his acting career when he starred in the web series Street Fighter: Assassins Fist as Ryu. The series aired on YouTube for 12 episodes.

    After his role in Street Fighter, Moh began to venture further into the small screen. From 2015 to 2017, he played the role as Steve Cho in Fox’s hit drama Empire. Following that nine episode run, he joined the cast of ABC’s Marvel’s Inhumans as Triton.


    Mike Moh Michael Muller via Getty

    Moh’s role in Inhumans was very daunting, as he spent three to five hours every day in the makeup chair to prepare himself for the part. The series was ultimately cancelled after 10 episodes, three of which Moh appeared in as Triton.

    3. Jackie Chan is one of his inspirations

    Jackie Chan has been one of Moh’s chief inspirations for years. The pair first met in Hong Kong over 11 years ago while Moh was working as a stuntman on the film Rob-B-Hood. In March 2018, Moh posted an Instagram photo of their first encounter, calling Chan “the man that inspired my Acting journey.”

    “He made an incredible impression on me,” Moh said in his post. “This man was the hardest working and most humble person on set. Nothing was beneath him. He was sweeping the floor, directing the action, eating lunch with the stunt team, etc. His attitude and demeanor set an amazing example for everyone.”

    4. His wife and children also compete in martial arts

    For Moh, martial arts has become a family affair. He met his wife Richelle Kondratowicz via martial arts while they were children. In fact, Kondratowicz received her black belt before Moh did, and technically outranks him today.

    The married couple’s three children, two boys and one girl, are following in their parents’ footsteps. The three are training at Moh’s Martial Arts to one day potentially earn a black belt of their own.

    5. He made a tribute video to Bruce Lee in 2015

    Three years before he would land the role as the martial art legend, Moh made a tribute video to Lee back in July 2015. The video was in honor of Lee’s 42nd anniversary of his death, and Moh performed some of Lee’s most iconic stunts while explaining how Lee, like Chan, was a source of major inspiration.

    “He has been an inspiration to me and so many others around the world,” Moh said. “He transcended ethnicity, he showed us how amazing it is to be a part of the human race.”

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opens July 26.
    There are several embedded vids and instagrams in the article but everything opened a new tab (ads) so I'm not going to bother transferring them.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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    Not at Cannes

    Cannes: The Buzz Films That Won't Be at the Festival
    4:22 AM PDT 4/18/2019 by Scott Roxborough


    Andrew Cooper
    Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' will not be ready for Cannes, the festival said.

    There will likely be no Quentin Tarantino on the Croisette, even though the festival says his latest film could still make the cut if the director finishes it soon, with high-profile omissions from the lineup including Ari Aster's 'Midsommar,' Benh Zeitlin's 'Wendy' and Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'The Truth.'

    Cannes, once the undisputed heavyweight champion of international film festivals, has been on the ropes of late.

    Last year's lineup included some impressive titles — Palme d'Or winner Shoplifters and Alice Rohrwacher's Happy as Lazzaro were two standouts — but the buzz and awards attention were elsewhere, thanks in part to the festival's ongoing spat with Netflix, which sent Alfonso Cuaron's Roma to Venice for its world premiere.

    Netflix is skipping Cannes again this year, so the French festival will have to do without such potential awards contenders as Martin Scorsese's mob epic The Irishman, Meryl Streep starrer The Laundromat from director Steven Soderbergh and Noah Baumbach’s period drama The King, starring Timothee Chalamet.

    But Netflix's absence was expected. More surprising were the high-profile omissions from the 2019 lineup that many had predicted were sure things for the Croisette this year.

    Top of the list is Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, which looked like a lock for the 72nd edition of the Cannes festival. But the feature — which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Timothy Olyphant —wasn't ready in time, the festival said Thursday. Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux said the post-production on the film, which Tarantino shot in traditional 35 mm, has been particularly time-consuming and he was “in a sprint” to finish it in time for its scheduled release this summer. Fremaux did hold out a smidgen of hope that the movie could still be a late addition to Cannes, should it be ready before the festival kicks off on May 14.

    Another surprising absence this year is The Truth, Hirokazu Kore-eda's follow-up to Shoplifters, which won Cannes' Palme d'Or just last year. Sources near the Japanese filmmaker said Kore-eda had been angling for a Cannes opening- night slot — the film is his first feature shot outside Japan and features French stars Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche. Cannes said the movie was not ready in time. The Truth will now likely premiere in Venice instead.

    One Cannes regular who won't be making the trip this year is James Gray, whose Ad Astra was not among the 19 competition titles announced Thursday. The American auteur has bowed four of his past five films in Cannes and, with Fox setting a May 24 release date for his new sci-fi picture starring Brad Pitt and Ruth Negga, most expected Ad Astra to touch down on the Croisette. It was not to be.

    Ad Astra was just one of several hotly-anticipated U.S. features that were tipped for Cannes, but will be missing the fest. Midsommar, Ari Aster's follow-up to Hereditary, will not be scaring folks on the French Rivera this year. Fans of Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild will have to wait a bit longer for his second feature, Wendy, about two children from different worlds stranded on a mysterious island where aging and time have come unglued. And First Cow, indie film heroine Kelly Reichardt's adaptation of Jonathan Raymond’s The Half-Life: A Novel, a period drama set in the 1820s Pacific Northwest, will also not be making the trek to Cannes.

    Fans of Justin Kurzel — many of whom discovered him in Cannes, where he premiered both The Snowtown Murders and Macbeth — hoped the Australian director would return to the festival with The True History of the Kelly Gang, an adaptation of the Peter Carey book starring Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult and Charlie Hunnam. But the film didn't make the 2019 cut. Perhaps the movie is a bit too mainstream for Cannes' liking. Or maybe the festival is still recovering from Kurzel's video-game adaptation Assassin Creed.

    On a more serious note, Zhang Yimou's One Second will also not screen in Cannes. The drama was slated to premiere at the Berlin Film Festival before being ignominiously yanked at the last minute, officially for “technical reasons.” It is widely assumed Chinese censors have blocked the movie, which is set during the politically sensitive period of China's Cultural Revolution. There had been hope that a version of the film would be available for Cannes. Now it is unclear if the movie will be seen at all.

    Cannes Film Festival poster 2019

    SCOTT ROXBOROUGH
    Scott.Roxborough@THR.com
    sroxborough
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    Cannes
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    One Second by Zhang Yimou
    Gene Ching
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