If you haven’t yet heard of Donnie Yen, you’re missing out on a brightly shining star. This multi-talented Hong Kong movie actor is not only a Wing-Chun master, he also writes, acts, directs and produces, and his new movie is eagerly awaited by fans of martial arts films. Yen is much beloved in China, where he’s billed as a top action film actor. While those involved in the martial arts in the US already enjoy his talents, it seems to be only a matter of time before he breaks through to mainstream audiences here, especially since he’s already co-starred in numerous films with Jet Li and Jackie Chan.
The vehicle most responsible for launching him to fame with his current fans is undoubtedly the Ip Man franchise, which is inspired by the life of Bruce Lee’s master, Yip Man. There are three films in the series, and the first took the coveted title of Best Film at the 28th Hong Kong Film Awards.
His new movie is called The Ice Man Cometh 3-D (AKA The Time Warriors/Bing Fung Hup)), and it promises to fulfill expectations as an action-packed, visually sumptuous feast. It’s reported that the special high-tech 3-D cameras being used on this film are some of the most expensive equipment ever used in world cinematic history.
The premise of the film borrows from a 1989 Chinese film of the same name, but bears no resemblance to the original 1939 play written by Eugene O’Neill. The new film will center on the story of a long-buried Ming Dynasty guard who had been encased in ice. His rival also suffered the same fate, and when they are both “defrosted,” much zaniness and fighting ensue. Big laughs are expected from Yen’s character as he attempts to reconcile what he knows of the old world with today’s technology and gadgets.
The filming has been fraught with problems and even injuries. For a time, some feared the possibility that the project would be scrapped entirely. It began filming in December of 2012 with a $200, 000, 000 (HKD) budget, and is slated for release sometime later this year.
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