It always bodes well for a filmmaker when The Weinstein Company (TWC) purchases the rights to your film. Today, TWC announced they have acquired the rights to distribute Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster in all US and Candian English speaking territories. The film stars as IP Man, mentor to Bruce Lee. Have a look at the official press release after the jump.
New York, NY – February 7, 2013 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today they have acquired all rights in the US and English speaking Canadian territories from Annapurna; and rights to Australia, New Zealand, and the UK from Wild Bunch, for acclaimed filmmaker Wong Kar Wai’s THE GRANDMASTER, which is set to open this year’s Berlin International Film Festival today. THE GRANDMASTER was written by Wong Kar Wai, Zou Jingzhi, and Xu Haofeng, executive produced by Megan Ellison, and produced by Jacky Pang and Wong Kar Wai. The film opened to critical praise last month in China and has just reached over $50 million at the box office in China making it the director’s highest-grossing film in his career.
THE GRANDMASTER is an epic martial arts drama set against the tumultuous backdrop of 1930’s China and inspired by the life and times of the legendary IP Man (Tony LEUNG Chiu Wai), mentor to Bruce LEE. The story focuses on two kung fu masters, IP Man, and Gong Er, and as their worlds collides on the night of the Japanese invasion in 1936. The plot encompasses themes of war, family, revenge, desire, love, and memory. The all-star cast headed by Tony LEUNG Chiu Wai (Days of Being Wild – Berlinale Forum 1991, Chungking Express, Happy Together, In The Mood for Love, 2046, all directed by WONG Kar Wai), also includes Ziyi ZHANG (Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon, D: Ang Lee), who was a guest at the 2009 Berlinale Competition with Forever Enthralled (D: CHEN Kaige), CHANG Chen (Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon; Eros, D: WONG Kar Wai), ZHAO Benshan (Happy Times, D: ZHANG Yimou), XIAO Shengyang (A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop, D: ZHANG Yimou – Berlinale Competition 2010) and SONG Hye Kyo (A Reason to Live, D: LEE Jeong-hyang), as well as hundreds of Asia’s top martial artists.
Director Wong Kar Wai said, “I am pleased to continue our long-time and multi picture collaboration with TWC on THE GRANDMASTER. With Harvey’s expertise and his passion for this genre, I am confident that he and his team will reach new heights with THE GRANDMASTER by cultivating hardcore action fans as well as exciting and pleasing those long time fans of my films.”
“We here at TWC feel truly honored to be able to continue our relationship with Wong Kar Wai and Annapurna. Wong Kar Wai is such an extraordinary filmmaker, and THE GRANDMASTER is no exception as he takes the audience on an exciting and emotional ride. Annapurna has come to be one of the great cutting edge new companies in our industry. They have produced numerous award-winning films including Zero Dark Thirty, and The Master which we had partnered on, and we are absolutely thrilled to be working with them again as they have shown invaluable support to our campaigns,” said Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company.
The deal was negotiated by TWC COO David Glasser and Michal Podell Steinberg, EVP of Business and Legal Affairs and Acquisitions with Chris Corabi on behalf of Annapurna and Attorney George Hayum for Fortissimo.