Who is Ip Man? Some of you probably know the answer because you saw Wong Kar-wai’s film The Grandmaster last year. Some of you are are martial arts aficionados who scoff (and probably throw punches) at those who don’t know the name of the man who taught Bruce Lee. And some of you just know the name because you watched a couple of kick-ass kung-fu movies titled Ip Man and Ip Man 2. Those semi-biographical slugfests starred Donnie Yen (Bodyguards and Assassins, The Monkey King) as the titular Wing Chun master, delivering rapid-fire punches like they were fired from a machine gun. Now Variety reports Yen and director Wilson Yip will return for Ip Man 3.
Much like The Grandmaster Yip’s Ip Man films cover periods of Ip Man’s life before he met and trained his famous pupil. Unlike The Grandmaster, which was a more thoughtful piece focusing on the philosophy behind the fighting styles, Ip Man 1 and 2 were more traditional martial arts films focusing on the impressive physical feats of its cast as Yen battles multiple weaker opponents before taking on a final boss – er, foe that is.
While the star and director are returning for Ip Man 3 – not to mention the writer and producer – there is one key absence. Twitchfilm reports Sammo Hung: kung-fu film legend and fight choreographer for the first two Ip Man films (plus actor in the second) will not be returning for the third. This may not seem like such a major change, but much like a auteur director, prolific and well respected fight choreographers (which Hung is) bring their own unique style to fight sequences – which are the central focus of martial arts films. Although, fans don’t need to worry too much, as Hung’s replacement is veteran fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping – famous in the States for his work on The Matrix series and Kill Bill – so the fights probably won’t be lacking.