Production on any Wong Kar-Wai film is never simple but his latest effort looks to be taking the cake with the Ip Man biopic "The Grandmasters" reportedly facing even more delays on its already extended production.
THR reports that completion of Wong's latest effort -- his first film since 2007's "My Blueberry Nights" -- has now been "delayed until the fourth quarter" of 2011 taking production well into it's second year. Lensing began all the way back in December of 2009 with a star studded cast toplined by Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi and we were eagerly anticipating it's completion/release this year, even hoping for an appearance at the Croisette. That, however, looks less and less likely by the day particular with the indifferent word coming out of the production.
Many rumors have plagued the project since it began though the most recent ones center on the potential, temporary exit of star Leung for Derek Yee's "The Great Magician" which was due to began shooting in March -- whether that's the case remains to be seen -- and the participation of actress Song Hye-Kyo whose "important role" has only seen a "small portion of the shooting, so she might need to return to continue shooting [though Wong] still has no idea how to fit her into the movie." The latter move certainly sounds Wong-esque considering his on-the-fly methodology.
Production shingle Sil-Metropole has since come out though and denied any production halts affirming that shooting was continuing to take place as planned with Wong currently taking on larger scale scenes -- one reportedly featured over 100 actors but (due of Wong's meticulous style) even aspects like the extras’ clothing buttoning was not overlooked.
Either way, heiress Megan Ellison recently took out rights to the film and is currently eyeing a teaming with one the major shingles for distribution. Hopefully, with his fall competition, some sort of of release date can firm up. And with Cannes now well and truly out of the question, could Venice be the go? Or is the fall festival season be too soon itself? Fingers crossed.
Another Ziyi-led production, meanwhile, has evidently fallen apart. The actress was previously attached to star in a live-action adaptation of the famous Mulan story with Dutch helmer Jan de Bont at the helm however , with shooting due to begin last fall in Shanghai, financing fell apart weeks earlier leaving members of the production team -- many of whom had already assembled at the Hengdian Studios -- to be sent home. At least, it leaves Ziyi totally dedicated to Wong's epic. [via WongKarWaiNews]