After more than a decade in the making, Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai's new film The Grandmaster is finally set to hit theatres in the Far East.
Along with his leading actors Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen, Wong attended the premiere in Hong Kong on Tuesday January 8 2013.
The Grandmaster is about the story of martial arts legend Ip Man, who is the teacher of Kung Fu superstar Bruce Lee.
Even though there have been several other films about the life of Ip Man, Wong was the first director to announce a film project back in 2002.
The role of Ip Man has been previously portrayed by Kung Fu star Donnie Yen. In Wong's version, actor Tony Leung plays Ip.
Unlike Yen, Leung has no previous training of Kung Fu, but began intense training for three years and more to prepare for his role.
It was no easy task at all. Leung has said that he suffered multiple injuries during filming and training. However, after he saw the finished product, Leung said that he was very happy with his performance.
Leung said that when filming finally began for The Grandmaster, it couldn't have come at a better time for him.
"If we had begun shooting 10 years earlier, I couldn't have portrayed him properly. I won't be like a master, more like a kid,” he explained. “So a lot of things were meant to be.
“Fate works in wondrous ways. It was at the right timing. We were all very lucky. It was at the right time, and we did the right thing. It wasn't right to film other times. We filmed at the right time.”
When asked if the strenuous work and long hours he put into this project would prevent Leung from doing another Wong Kar Wai film in the future, Leung replied: "I've been acting for 30 years...Three years is nothing."
Actress Zhang Ziyi had previously said that The Grandmaster would be her last Kung Fu film.
She said that the strain put on her body from the intense Kung Fu training had pushed her to the limit. Still, she defended Wong's decision to ask the main characters to undergo training.
"We trained for Kung Fu for a very long time, that's because the director wanted us to embody the spirit of the character. So I think for him (Wong Kar Wai) to ask us to do that, it wasn't too much to ask," she said.
The Grandmaster is released in Hong Kong on January 10. It has been selected as the opening film for this year's Berlin Film Festival, where Wong serves as the president of the jury.