Long-awaited ‘The Grandmaster’ set for December release

The long-awaited Tony Leung version of martial arts favourite 'Ip Man' is finally here.

Titled "The Grandmaster" and directed by cinematic maestro Wong Kar-wai, this version sees Tony Leung taking on the role of Bruce Lee's teacher, Yip Man, that was popularised by Donnie Yen back in 2008.

The 2008 movie and its 2010 sequel, Ip Man 2, sparked the global revival in interest in the Wing Chun fighting style.

Set to be released next month in Hong Kong around Christmas, "The GrandMaster" has been stuck in development hell for the last three years, first due to conflicts over the film's working title, which was being shot at the same time as the original "Ip Man".

Scheduled to be released in late 2011, the film also starring Zhang Ziyi and Chan Chen was also delayed by serious injuries to main star Tony Leung, who underwent a two-year long intensive training in Wing Chun to immerse himself in the role.

Based on the sneak-peek trailer above, The GrandMaster looks set to be a much darker, stylised version of the 2008 version helmed by Wilson Yip, which was pure, unadulterated action.

In traditional Wong Kar-Wai style, this 2012 reboot features plenty of slow-mo action scenes interwined with vivid, beautiful cinematography, as well as a stronger romantic plot.

Leung and Wong are of course no strangers. Leung has starred in several of Wong's biggest hits, notably In the Mood for Love and 2046, which incidentally also starred Zhang Ziyi.

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