At the end of the Qing Dynasty, war hero Su Can leads a spectacularly daring raid on enemy forces before retiring home from his military life to his beloved wife and their newborn son. Six years later, his vengeful step-brother Yuang returns from war unrecognizably consumed by Dark Martial Arts and armed with his Five Venom Fist, which he wields to severely injure Su as payback for a long and dark family history. Su and his wife barely escape with their lives, but their son is now held captive by an increasingly psychotic Yuang. Over many long and difficult months, Su recovers from his injuries and once again hones his craft with the help of a mysterious Bearded Man and his apprentice, Lord Wushu, a Golden Monk of unimaginable martial arts virtuosity. But even with this training, Su is unable to save his wife's life when she single-handedly stakes out to find their son. Utterly broken by grief, Su soon wanders the streets as a drunken beggar with no will to live. It is only when his son is once again threatened, this time by imperial Westerners out to shame the Chinese people, that an inebriated Su summons all his fighting skills to save the day and unwittingly forges a new style of martial arts forever known as The Drunken Fist!
True Legend / Su Qi-Er News:
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will arrive on DVD and Blu-ray in the U.S. on September 13, from Vivendi Entertainment. Language: Mandarin Chinese. Subtitles: English, French.
DVD special features: five Original Featurettes, two Storyboard to Scene Sequences, music video, international trailer.
The French theatrical release date of True Legend
has been re-scheduled to September 28, 2011, distributed by Universal Pictures International France.
French trailer (02:07)
is being screened at the Festival Fantasia
(Fantasia International Film Festival) in Montreal, Canada.
Variety: Q&A with director Yuen Woo Ping
Q: Did you use visual effects to enhance it the spectacular nature shots?
A: For almost all locations, we captured their magnificent natural look. Once, when I wanted the cloud-flowing look for one mountainous scene, we waited, just like in the old days. And for one Michelle's exterior scenes, we went for some vfx assistance to achieve the season-changing effect.
The film is expanding to more U.S. theaters this weekend.
opens in the U.S. today in selected theatres, including:
Mann Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Landmark Lumiere in San Francisco, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin,
and Pearlridge West 16 Theatr in Aiea, Hawaii.
Watch Trailer and Clip on Apple Trailer
- True Legend
is coming to select U.S. theaters on May 13th - in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Austin.
- Fans in Los Angeles may get a chance for an advanced screening next Monday at the Hollywood Arclight. (details)
Japanese theatrical release of True Legend
has been scheduled for June 25.
Indomina released US poster and trailer for True Legend
which is scheduled to open on May 13th.
True Legend US trailer (01:55)
True Legend US Official Website
was awarded the Lotus Action Asia at the 13th Deauville Asian Film Festival.
- True Legend
will be screened at the 13th Deauville Asian Film Festival
in France (March 9-13)
- German DVD / Blue-ray of True Legend
is scheduled to release on April 15 by Splendid Film. (link)
will be released in the U.S. on May 13th, by Indomina
MPAA rating: R for "sequences of battle violence and brutal fighting."
The French theatrical release date of True Legend
has been set to July 27, 2011, distributed by Universal Pictures International France.
Indomina Releasing has acquired all North American rights to the film.
US premiere will take place tomorrow at the Fantastic Fest (see news of 08/31/10 below)
with director Yuen Woo-Ping attending.
(3D) will be released in U.K. on September 24th.
BBFC Rating: 15 (contains strong bloody violence). According to the
BBFC site, the UK theatrical version had 22 seconds cut due to " sight of unsimulated animal cruelty."
Watch UK trailer
(02:08 English subtitled)
UK poster and two more Russian posters
Michelle in True Legend
(click to enlarge)
- Fantastic Fest (September 23 - 30, Austin, Texas)
will honor director and master fight choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping with a Lifetime Achievement Award
and hold the US premiere and gala screening of True Legend
on Saturday, September 25th.
- True Legend
will be screened at the Cambridge Film Festival on
September 25th. Note: it might be misleading to list Michelle at the first
in the cast on festival's official site
as she only had 5 minutes of screen time and had no fight scenes in the film.
True Legend 3D
is scheduled to release in Russia on September 23, 2010.
Image at left: Russian poster. (click to enlarge)
The Region 3 (Asia) DVD of True Legend
will be released by Edko on April 29.
Language available: Mandarin, Cantonese. Special Features:
photo gallery, trailer, making of, music MV, director and casting.
True Legend R3 DVD
True Legend Original Soundtrack (OST)
UK distributor Optimum Releasing, a subsidiary of StudioCanal, has acquired True Legend
for British theatrical release.
The film scored RMB46.5 million ($6.82 million) at the Chinese box office and had its European premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February.
More promotional film images:
(1) Beggar Su by Vincent Zhao   (2-4) Su Can and wife Yuan Ying
(5) Yuan Lie
(1) Sister Yu by Michelle Yeoh   (2-3) Sister Yu saves Su Can couple
(4) Zhou Xun (L), director Yuen Woo-Ping and Michelle on set
(5) Yuen Woo-Ping showing Michelle acupuncture techniques
director Feng Xiaogang's cameo (only seen at the end credtis)
Director Yuen Woo-Ping revealed that initially he wanted to cast Feng Xiaogang as the Bearded Man,
but due to scheduling conflicts, Feng was cast to play a theft who tries to teach Su Can's son to be a pickpocket.
: Behind the scenes with Michelle Yeoh in True Legend
(02:14, in Mandarin Chinese)
(1-2) Malaysia   (3) Singapore   (4) Thailand
(click to enlarge)
Taiwan official True Legend site
True Legend Facebook
bits round up:
- The total time of the 3D scenes in the film is about 18 minutes.
The two 3D action sequences are actually cut into many small 3D segments
and audience are instructed to put on and take off the 3D glasses during
viewing. Director Yuen Woo-Ping said they wanted to make the film entirely
3D, but that would cost several million dollars more and another
five years to complete. Some theatres in China decided not to show the 3D version in
order to avoid the possible damage to the glasses due to the frequent putting on and taking off
and the trouble of passing them out and collecting them again.
- Director Feng Xiaogang's cameo appearance was cut from the film
and now he only appears in the end credits. According to news reports,
Feng directed and acted in his own scene. It was very funny, but
the producer and director felt it did not fit with the style of the film.
- Michelle has no fight scenes in the film.
- True Legend
will be screened on Monday Feb. 15, 8:00pm at the
Berlinale Special during the 60th Berlin International Film Festival (European premiere).
- True Legend
(Chinese title: "Su Qi-Er") will be released in
Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore next week. The partial 3D kungfu film
contains two major 3D action sequences, one involves Vincent Zhao and
Jay Chou at the Ten Thousand Buddha Cliffs (Wan Fuo Ya), and another is the final
battle between Vincent Zhao and Andy On.
The premiere press conference was held in Beijing on January 26th. Director Yuen
Woo-Ping and most of the main cast members were in attendance. Michelle
was absent. She has been busy filming Reign of Assassins
(aka "Jianyu Jianghu") with John Woo and Su Chao-pin.
(1) (L to R) Guo Xiaodong, Yan Ni, Jay Chou, Will liu, Andy
On, director Yuen Woo-Ping, Sun Hanwen,
Zhou Xun, Vincent Zhao and Jiang Luxia.
(2) Jay Chou, Yuen Woo-Ping, Zhou Xun, and Vincent Zhao
(photos form "Epoch Times". click to enlarge)
- True Legend
will be premiered in Beijing on January 26th.
- The theme song of True Legend
, "Zou Ma Kan Huang Hua" (translation:
Gazing at yellow flowers on horseback):
Theme Song MV
Music by Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi. Lyris by Hong
Kong lyrics writer Lam Chik. Performed by Zhou Xun. The MV features
Zhou Xun, Vincent Zhao, Jay Chou, and Andy On.
has been selected to be shown at the Berlinale Special during
the 60th Berlin International Film Festival
(February 11 - 21)
New posters from Mainland China and Taiwan. (click to enlarge)
- New trailer of True Legend
(02:12, in Chinese)
Names credited: Director Yuen Woo-Ping, Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, Michelle Yeoh,
Jay Chou, Guo Xiaodong, Feng Xiaogang, Yan Ni, Will Liu, Jiang Luxia,
and Andy On.
The famous Chinese director Feng Xiaogang makes a cameo appearance as a
thief. Reportedly his hilarious scene will be at the end of the film.
Guest starring in the film, Michelle does not appear in all that many action scenes.
She only joined filming for several days in Beijing at the beginning of the
production (end August/early September, 2008).
- Excerpt from an "Apple Daily" interview with director Yuen Woo-Ping (translation):
Reporter: Is it true that the drunken fist was created by Beggar Su?
Yuen: Legends say so but there is no solid proof. That's why the English title of the film is called "True Legend."
Reporter: Do you consider yourself to be Beggar Su?
Yuen: No. One should know when to stop. Going extreme would
lead you nowhere.
Reporter: Do you consider yourself the God of Martial Arts
(a role played by Jay Chou) who can create all types of martial arts moves?
Yuen: Moves are designed according to the characters. I'm not
the God of Martial Arts. As a person I don't know everything.
Reporter: Do you consider yourself like Michelle Yeoh's character who is
a heroine with exceptional martial arts skills and lives in seclusion on North Star Mountain?
Yuen: You are right this time. I often feel that I am a
recluse and I'm settled with what I have. Michelle's character indeed
has my own spirit.
(1) Yuen Woo-Ping (L) and Feng Xiaogang   (2-3) Feng Xiaogang
with Sun Hanwen (plays Su Can's son)
Chinese actress Yan Ni makes a cameo appearance as a bar mistress
(click to enlarge. "Sina" photos)
At the press conference held in Beijing on December 20, it was announced that True Legend
is set for release on February 9, 2010 in Mainland China. It was also announced that the film will become the first ever 3D martial arts film and some 3D film clips were shown to the press. According to the director, he deliberately rearranged the camera for maximum 3D visual impact when filming certain scenes. "I've tried not to devise too fancy action moves and tried to make it more distinct for better control," said director Yuen Woo-Ping. The post production took more than 10 months. Over 100 digital artists worked over-time in order to create the 3D effect of the fight scenes layer by layer, frame by frame.
Some newly released official images:
Sister Yu by Michelle
(1-3) Su Can (Vincent Zhao) battling Tie Nan (Will Liu) and Tie Ji (Jiang Luxia)
(4) White Beard Man by Gordon Liu
(1) Su Can by Vincent Zhao   (4) director Yuen Woo-Ping with
Will Liu (L1), Jiang Luxia (R1)
and Zhou Xun (R2) at the press conference
(5) Chinese poster
(click to enlarge. more images at Sina)
is scheduled to release
on February 11th in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, and Malaysia,
and February 26th in Taiwan.
1-2: Hong Kong poster   3: Taiwan poster
True Legend Official Site
(click to enlarge)
(Chinese and English)
Wallpapers: (click to enlarge)
"True Legend" Chinese Official Site
Six official character posters: (click to enlarge)
Cast photos: (click to enlarge)
White Beard Man
God of Martial Arts
- The release date of True Legend
is currently scheduled for February 2010 in Mainland China.
The film is currently in post-production. I heard that some digital artists in Hong Kong
have been working overtime on the project and trying to ensure it will
be finished in time. Director Yuen Woo-Ping planned and filmed the movie
in old school martial arts style, but apparently producers wanted to
add a lot more special visual effects...
- Director's Diary
The Waterfall. Photos: battles at Hukou Waterfall
(click ti enlarge. photos from "Collider" and director's site)
(click to enlarge)
(1) Vincent Zhao and Zhou Xun   (2) Michelle's Sister Yu
(3) Zhou Xun   (4) Vincent Zhao   (5) Jay Chou as God of Martial Arts
(1) Vincent Zhao (Su Qi-Er, left) and Jay Chou   (2) Guo Xiaodong
(3-4) Andy On   (5) director Yuen Woo-Ping
- character teasers:
A press conference was held in Beijing on October 19th, announcing the
release of the first official trailer for True Legend
Director Yuen Woo-Ping, actors Vincent Zhao, Guo Xiaodong, and Andy On
attended the conference. The official trailer features Vincent Zhao,
Zhou Xun, Michelle, Jay Chou, Guo Xiaodong, and Andy On.
Individual cast trailers were also shown to the press. The film is currently in post-production
and is scheduled to release as a Chinese New Year film.
"True Legend" Official Trailer
"True Legend" Cast Trailer: Michelle Yeoh
Chinese media reported that the release date of True Legend
in China is aiming
for the Chinese New Year (mid-February next year). The film is currently under post-production
(sound dubbing). It is scheduled for release in Singapore on February 11th, 2010, by Scorpio East.
- Director Yuen Woo-Ping said that Michelle's character in True Legend
Sister Yu, is actually written as Yu Shu Lien (or Yu Xiulian, in Mandarin Pinyin. Yu is the family name),
her character from Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
In fact, in Crouching Tiger
Michelle's character sometimes
could be heard being addressed as "Sister Yu" (pronounced as "Yu Da Jie" in Mandarin Chinese).
Michelle on set
(click to enlarge)
There is a lady warrior in the story of TRUE LEGEND. She saves Su Can's life and has exceptional martial arts skill; she is kind-hearted and lives quietly in the mountains away from other people. As I read the story, a familiar figure came to mind -- haven't we met such a lady in CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON? Later I learned from the screenwriter that she has indeed fashioned this character after Yu Xiulian of Ang Lee's epic! We shared another idea that this character should be played by no one but Michelle Yeoh.
The producers then asked Michelle Yeoh to play this part. It was only after Michelle confirmed her participation that we named this character Sister Yu. No one else is fit for this name but her. If the character was played by another, she might as well be called Sister Chen, Sister Li or any name at all.
In the world of martial arts, it is common for real-life people to encounter fictional characters. This time, Yu Xiulian is to encounter Su Can the Drunken Fist Master. We are not surprised by Michelle's wonderful action stunts, which she never fails to deliver; it is her emotions in this movie that surprised me more.
It might not be too difficult for an actress to re-play a character that she played before. But to "re-vitalize" a character (that means to show the character's growth and development over time, and to allow viewers to imagine the time in between) is by no means simple and Michelle did it beautifully. The sadness in Sister Yu's eyes says a hundred times more than words; her poignant past is embodied in her actions. As a viewer, I'm delighted at the return of Sister Yu. As a director, I'm very grateful for Michelle who came back from America to play this part.
- It has been revealed that the martial arts sequences of True Legend
were filmed in 3D.
Audience will be instructed to put on 3D glasses for viewing
Teaser trailer of True Legend
Michelle's Sister Yu - picking herbs
(video scans. click to enlarge)
On January 18th, "Sina" reporters visited the filming set of True Legend
at the China Movie & TV Industry Zone in Huairou County, Beijing.
On the day of the set visit, they filmed a challenge match
between Vincent Zhao and a westerner, and also a scene
with Vincent Zhao and Zhou Xun. Zhao said in the film he fights from the beginning
to the end. It was Zhou Xun's first day shooting on the Beijing set
and her last day on the project. The production has moved to Beijing
since the end of October and it is expected to wrap up soon.
interview with Vincent Zhao and Zhou Xun ([05:59, in Mandarin Chinese)
ring of the martial arts challenge. the man with cap in (3) is director Yuen Woo-Ping
Vincent Zhao's Beggar Su and wife Yuan Ying (Zhou Xun)
("Sina" photos. click to enlarge)
The production company organized a media set visit on December 11th. Cung Le, Vietnamese American
Strikeforce middleweight champion, has joned the cast. Reporters were allowed to watch the
filming of a fight between Cung Le and Vincent Zhao. Filming of True Legend
continuing in Huairou County, Beijing.
(1-3) Vincent Zhao and Cung Le   (4) Cung Le showing his winning belt to reporters
(5) (L to R) Guo Xiaodong, Vincent Zhao, Cung Le, ?
(click to enlarge. photos from "Sina", "Sohu" and "163")
Filming of True Legend
has been taking place at the China Movie & TV Industry Zone
in Huairou County, Beijing. On November 18th the production company
organized a press set visit. Reporters were allowed to witness the
filming of a scene between Vincent Zhao and Jay Chou. Reportedly
Jay Chou's character, Wu Shen (God of Martial Arts), appears only as
an illusion of Beggar Su (Vincent Zhao) when Su fell into a stage
of "cultivation insanity".
: Jay Chou
and Vincent Zhao on set (03:27, in Mandarin)
(1-3) filming a scene with Beggar Su and God of Martial Arts
(4) Yuen Woo-Ping (middle) directing a fight sequence   (5) director Yuen Woo-Ping
(1) Vincent Zhao (L) and Jay Chou on set   (2) Vincent Zhao as Beggar Su   (3) Vincent Zhao (L) and double
(4) Jay Chou (R) and his double   (5-7) singer Jay Chou as a martial artist
(1-4) a village set, the largest indoor film set in Chinese film
history, is being built in Huairou
(click to enlarge. photos from "QQ" and "The First")
The production team left Anhui Province on October 24 and has moved to Beijing. A press
conference was held on November 2nd in Beijing, officially announcing the production.
Director Yuen Woo-Ping, Jay Chou, Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, and Guo Xiaodong were in attendance.
will tell the story of Chinese martial arts
master Su Can (aka So Chan), a wealthy man of the Qing Dynasty obsessed
with Kung Fu, who fell from grace to become a beggar after he and his
family became the victims of conspiracies. He later transformed
himself into a martial arts master, patriot and folk hero, honoured as
the "King of Beggars".
Taiwanese singer/actor Jay Chou has joined the filming in
Beijing. Chou will play a skilled martial arts master who taught Su Can.
The cast also includes Michelle and Hong Kong veteran martial arts actor Gordon Liu
Edko lines up stellar cast for Yuen Woo-ping's True Legend
Matrix choreographer takes the director's chair
(1-2) (L to R) Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, director Yuen Woo-Ping, Jay Chou and Guo Xiaodong at the press conference
(3) Vincent Zhao, Yuen Woo-Ping, Jay Chou and Guo Xiaodong
("MTime" and "Sohu" photos. click to enlarge)
More set photos from Huangshan, Anhui Province. ("Baidu" and "Nanba"photos. click to enlage)
(1) Zhou Zun with 12 year old actor Sun Hanwen on set
(2) Vincent Zhao (left) and Sun Hanwen (right)
(3) Filming in Nanping Village, Yi County, Anhui Province. The actress in white was Zhou Xun
(4-5) Film set at Nanping
During a recent interview, actor Vincent Zhao said that the English title of the film
will be True Legend
. And the Chinese working title, Su Qi-Er
be changed later.
Production in Huangshan is moving to Beijing soon. There have been open casting calls for
supporting roles and extras, from 16 to 40 years old, for a Beijing shoot at the end of
Below are some set photos from Huangshan. A winery set has been built in a quiet
area of Qinglulin (Lovers' Forest), Yi County, Anhui Province.
(1-3) Vincent Zhao and Zhou Xun on the winery set
(4) locals watching the shoots
the winery set   (click to enlarge)
The production of Su Qi-Er
has been taking place in the Huangshan Mountain
(aka Mount Huang
or Yellow Mountain)
area, Anhui Province. In late September they
filmed at the famous scenic spots Paiyunting Pavilion and Danxiafeng Peak,
as well as surrounding towns including
Xidi and Hongcun Ancient Village
(which is known as the "Museum of Dwelling Houses of Ming").
Huangshan is one of China's most popular tourist places.
Filming in Huangshan will continue until later of the month before moving to
the China Movie & TV Industry Zone in Huairou County, Beijing.
The production is expected to last until January.
Set photos from Huangshan (click to enlarge)
(1-3) a film set built at Daguling, Meixi, Yi County
(4-5) filming at Danxiafeng Peak, Sept. 25
a sequence with Will Liu and newcomer, martial arts
actress Jiang Luxia was filmed in Xidi
(1) Qing soldiers   (2-4) Qing Dynasty street scenes
(5) carrying a dummy
(6) Yuen Cheung-Yan, action choreographer/trainer, Yuen Woo-Ping's brother, also seen on set
The production of Su Qi-Er
has moved to Anhui Province after having finished filming in Beijing and Shanxi.
A bulk of the film production will be taking place in Yi County, Anhui Province
in Eastern China. It was where certain scenes from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
such as the beginning of the film, the bamboo forest, and Yu Shu Lien's
security compound. Ancient villages in Yi County are listed on the
UNESCO World Heritage List. The production company has been building
some film sets there for the past several months.
Actress Zhou Xun said in a recent interview that she won't have any action scenes in the film.
After ten days in Miyun County, Beijing, the production moved to the
Hukou Waterfall at Yellow River, Shanxi Province on September 9th.
Michelle was on the Beijing filming set with Vincent Zhao and Zhou Xun for several days.
According to "Sina"'s report, her scenes in Beijing were completed in early September
and she left the set while Vincent Zhao and Zhou Xun continued at the
location for a few more days. Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun and Will Liu were seen at
the Hukou set. Unconfirmed reports said Michelle was there too.
Here are some photos from a film set at Longyunshan Mountain, Miyun County, Beijing, September 2008:
(1-3) a two-level wooden house was built on the top of the mountain
(4-5) Vincent Zhao and Zhou Xun on set
Reportedly, the straw covered wooden house is the place where the characters
of Michelle and Zhou Xun treat the dying Su Qi-Er. In the film the mountain is named
"North Star Mountain" and that's where Michelle lives.
(1) wired stunt (Michelle's character)   (2-3) filming on Longyunshan Mountain
Photos from film set at Hukou Waterfall of Yellow River, Shanxi Province, September 2008:
a deck was built above the waterfall
(1) Vincent Zhao on set   (2-6) warriors and soldiers
(click to enlarge. photos from "Sina", "HHHK" and various Chinese websites)
Without any publicity, director Yuen Woo-Ping's new martial arts film,
"Su Qi-Er" (Chinese title), started shooting secretly on August 28 in
a beautiful mountain region in a suburb of Beijing.
(literally "Beggar Su") is a nickname of Su Can
Su Hua Chi, So Chan, Beggar So), who is a legendary Cantonese heroic figure.
The name of Su Can,
together with the name of Wong Fei Hung (the central figure from Jet Li's Once Upon a Time in China
are among "The Ten Tigers of Canton" - a group of ten of the top Chinese
martial arts masters in Canton (Guangdong) towards the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912)
The folktales of the hero Su Qi-Er have been featured in numerous Hong Kong films and TV series.
Martial arts actor Vincent Zhao (aka Chiu Man-Cheuk or Zhao Wenzhuo)
, Once Upon a Time in China V
) will star as Su Can.
Chinese actress Zhou Xun (Suzhou River
, Perhaps Love
as Su's wife. Michelle's character, Sister Yu, is a heroine who lives
in seclusion on a mountain. Reportedly at one part of the film story she
saves the dying Su. Chinese actor Guo Xiaodong (Warlords
) and Will Liu,
Taiwanese singer and composer, are also among the cast. Rumor said Taiwanese singer/actor
Jay Chou may have a supporting role but it has not been confirmed.
will be Yuen Woo-Ping's return as a film director after 12 years.
From the late 70s to 1996, Yuen directed many Hong Kong martial films including
Wing Chun (starring Michelle and Donnie Yen, 1994)
Tai Chi Master (starring Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh, 1993)
and Iron Monkey (starring Donnie Yen, 1993)
During recent years he has been working as a martial arts/action choreographer
and his work included
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
, Kill Bill
, Kung Fu Hustle
and The Forbidden Kingdom
(starring Jet Li and Jackie Chan, 2008)
The art director of the film will be Huo Tingxiao whose previous work
include Chinese language films
The Emperor and the Assassin
, House of Flying Daggers
, and Wing Chun
The film script was written by Hong Kong scriptwriter To Chi-Long (Fearless
, Jiang Hu
The project was submitted to Chinese authority for approval in May and has obtained
a shooting permit after some requested modifications.
True Legend Official Site
True Legend Chinese Official Site