- Drunken Monkey News Compilation
-- Drunken Monkey Hong Kong Gala Pemiere --
Apart from the main production crew and cast Lau Kar Leung, Lau Kar Wing, Gordon Liu, Lau Wing Kin and Wu Jing etc, such famous personalities in the industry as Hung Tin Ming, Chin Ka Lok, Ti Lung and his wife, Amy Fan, Law Kar Ying, etc also attended Drunken Monkey Gala Premiere in Hong Kong on 20 May. Lau Kar Leung explained that he was at this event as he wished to let people know that he is still shooting kungfu films. Lau Kar Leung said that Shannon Yao Yao fought pretty well and was very attentive, but whether he would formally accept her as a disciple depends on fate. He said Wu Jing practiced different school of martial arts and was a little not accustomed to Hung Gar, but gradually got used to it. He also praised Wu Jing for his excellent acting skills. Drunken Monkey, which expounds the theories of martial arts, faces strong competition from Hollywood blockbuster The Matrix Reloaded which opens on the same day, 22 May. When asked if Lau Kar Leung was worried about box office takings and whether he would employ special effects, he replied, "The two belong to different genres, it is difficult to say. I would not mind shooting a moving with special effects if the focus is on kungfu. But if it is an entirely CGI-based movie, I wouldn't."
Wu Jing was glad to come to Hong Kong to take part in the publicity, being cooped up in Beijing for days. On seeing Shaw Brothers legend Ti Lung, Wu Jing immediately greeted him respectfully. Ti Lung thinks well of Wu Jing, believing that he has great potential. Having worked with major action directors Yuen Wo Ping Tsui Hark and Lau Kar Leung, Wu Jing finds that they have their unique flairs and methods of shooting and he could learn many things from them. Wu Jing indicated that he was not worried about Drunken Monkey not doing well in Hong Kong for it is inexorable. He was glad that it did better than Lord of the Rings 2: The Two Towers in Shanghai. United News Daily, Sing Pao Daily, May 2003
-- Staggering Central Plains in Eight Directions on Hold --
Staggering Central Plains in Eight Directions has been put on hold on the account of SARS and to avoid clashing with Seven Swords of Mt Tian, Wu Jing has opted out of the project. Wu Jing has gone to Hong Kong on 19 to attend Hong Kong gala premiere of Drunken Monkey on the evening of May 20 and will be staying there for a few days for its publicity events. Drunken Monkey opens in Hong Kong on May 22 . In the meantime, Wu Jing has been approached with a few movie offers in Hong Kong. Jet Star Entertainment, May 2003
Celestial Pictures, which distributes Drunken Monkey worldwide except China, is participating in 56th Cannes Film Festival (14 to 25 May 2003) in France and Drunken Monkey is going to be shown at the festival on May 19 at 9.00am. Drunken Monkey is likely to be released in Hong Kong on May 22. Besides Drunken Monkey, Jackie Chan's Around the World in Eighty Days, Michelle Yeoh's Silver Hawk (Masked Crusader) and Zhang Ziyi's Purple Butterfly are also taking part in the event. DVDrama, Celestial Pictures, May 2003
-- Drunken Monkey --
Thanks to SARS, many entertainment activities were cancelled and China's citizens elect to bring home video discs to spend their spare time. This reporter, after visiting over twenty video stores on 12 May, found that there was a rare explosive demand on the home video market. Drunken Monkey and Andy Lau's Given Them a Chance were selling like hot cakes while Bullet Proof Monk and Lord of the Rings 2 were left on the shelf. Chongqing Youth Paper, May 2003
-- Hubei Province Box Office Chart between 1 May to 5 May --
Box office takings of Ying Xing Cinema's 45 theatres last year was 450 thousand renminbi while this year saw a sharp 60% drop to 210 thousand reminbi. While Drunken Monkey is noted for exemplary action, its clichéd script and nondescript acting did not draw in too much crowd. Changjiang Daily, May 2003
-- Wu Jing on Drunken Monkey --
When shooting Drunken Monkey, it was too easy for a senior actor to often strike at full force all the way without holding back at the crucial moment and Wu Jing, knowing that he would be hit hard, still allowed the blows to land on him... He ended up with bruises all over, with nose-bridge being broken twice. Wu Jing thought that those challenges were more thrilling than dating and romances, "It was very demanding during the production, I often got beaten, some actors couldn't hold back on doing the action and I wouldn't want to have outtakes; though I was aware that I would get badly pounded, I still didn't dodge, on the consolation that this would have good result on the screen." Once, he saw on CCTV 5 a documentary feature on animals where slow-motion was used to show how a monkey passed through the forest. Suddenly, it dawned on him that the production could use a few such monkey moves. On returning to the set, he explained his views to the director, and he imitated a monkey leaping across three canes in the bamboo grove. It delighted the director who was looking at the monitor, "Much like a monkey, except a tail is missing." Wu Jing was mightily impressed with Liu Chia Liang, who has been in the field for 40 over years, "I have the greatest respect for him. He is already 67 yet still so agile, he was able to wear a monkey expression when fighting. Moreover, I heard he suffered from cancer 10 years ago, and had already recovered. Taichi and Long Fist were the mainstays of my previous works, while Drunken Monkey focuses on Hung Gar Fist and short-range fist-work. I learned a lot from him, such as the portraying the right kind of feeling when shooting action scenes; to accommodate the camera, when Liu Chia Liang changed his moves, I naturally followed suit, improvised and adapted to his changes, and it turned out that we fought for real. The outcome was fantastic, with further enhanced realism." Dayoo Daily, Sina, May 2003
-- Three Intoxicating Effects of
Drunken Monkey --
Bizarre Drunken Monkey Style: However, a good kungfu star needs a good martial arts choreographer, without whom the former's talent would go down the drain. When it was the golden age of martial arts cinema, various clans specialising at choreographing martial arts sequences were born. Among them, Jackie Chan's Chan Clan, Yuen Wo Ping's Yuen Clan and Liu Chia Liang's Liu Clan were the most noted. With a potent combination of China's new generation of top martial arts talent and Hong Kong's foremost martial arts clan, the martial arts sequences in Drunken Monkey are certainly worth looking out for. Moreover, rarely do the audiences see Drunken Monkey Fist performed on the silver screen. It has been emphasised countless times that this movie doesn't employ any special effects and showcases nothing but authentic kungfu. If all their statements hold water, it would be neither far-fetched nor supercilious to call Drunken Monkey is a choice martial arts movie.
A Monkey that is Inebriated is the Most Funny: Jackie Chan's movies have no lack of humour and these comedic elements have become his trademark. Drunken Monkey also contains plenty of comic elements, greatly enhancing its entertainment value. In the late 1970s, Jackie Chan made the audience laugh as he practised Drunken Fist. This time, Wu Jing faces a greater challenge: Not only does he have to master the unusual Drunken Monkey Fist, but also tickle the audience with his own brand of humour, antics coupled with a monkey mien. A seemingly mission impossible, that, if properly done, would surely win the admiration of the audiences. A monkey that is drunk is the funniest.
Drunken Monkey opens on May 1 in China. Publicities were cancelled owing to severity of SARS cases in China, specifically Beijing and Guangdong. Nanfang City Daily, April 2003
-- Drunken Monkey Release Dates in China --
Drunken Monkey will be released in two formats in China. Digital version opens on May 1 in limited theatres while traditional 35mm print opens 18 days later all across the nation.Hangzhou Daily, April 2003
Note: Oriental Sports Daily simply says that the movie premieres nationwide on May 1.
-- Drunken Monkey Trailer --
Sina has put up 6 Drunken Monkey clips in RealVideo format in Chinese on their Drunken Monkey page. Follow either the .rm or .zip links to watch or save the videos. Air your views after watching the trailers here.
Brief descriptions of aforementioned videos:
-- Drunken Monkey Photos --
-- Drunken Monkey Test Screening --
Shaw Brothers conducted a test screening for Drunken Monkey on 13 March, spending some ten thousand HK dollars to reserve a cinema. Western film distributors were invited to the test screening. Response from the audience was affirmative. After the test screening, Liu Chia Liang said that he shoots movie with utmost sincerity and emphasied that everything in the movie is true kungfu and no special effects were employed. However, he was not completely satisfied with the sound and picture quality of Drunken Monkey, saying that some areas needed to be improved. He said the movie needed another two months of post-production. He would pay attention to those areas when he is doing the post production. He hoped to present the very best of the movie to the audience. When asked if he felt that other movies' martial arts were not realistic enough, Liu Chia Liang retorted, "I dare not say this. Other movies showcase arts while mine exhibits genuine kungfu. It depends on whether the audiences prefer to see the real thing or fake stuff." Liu Chia Liang said that if Drunken Monkey proved to be successful, Shaw Brothers would resume its plan to make more new kungfu movies. Wenwei Paper, Oriental Daily, Sing Pao Daily, March 2003
-- Drunken Monkey --
The kungfu epic Drunken Monkey, directed by Hong Kong legend Lau Kar Leung, is slated for release this May (in China). This movie, being without special effects, has been watched with keen enthusiasms. Its France distribution rights have already been sold. Wu Jing's manager said, Wu Jing communicated very well with director Lau Kar Leung and did not have any doubles in the movie. Under such condition, it was common to spend over a few hours to shoot a couple of tens of seconds of each martial arts scene. Wu Jing's nose, the legs and other parts of the body were hurt in the process but not once did he complain, "It's all right, I'm covered by insurance, let's get on." The production company is confident of Wu Jing and the movie and is using Drunken Monkey to introduce Wu Jing to the international audience. Meiri Paper, March 2003
-- Drunken Monkey --
Chinastar, which distributes Drunken Monkey in China, is releasing it in May (or June). Press conference and a series of publicity events for the Drunken Monkey will be held at end of April (tentatively around 24 to 27). A couple of new Drunken Monkey photos have been added. The aforementioned press conference in Yunnan on 3 March is meant for A Chinese Ghost Story. Wu Jing took a few days off recently to went to Beijing to see his mother, and it's a relief to him who has been worried about her. Jet Star Entertainment, March 2003
-- Drunken Monkey Release Date --
Drunken Monkey will be released in China in March (or May/June) this year. Wu Jing is likely to grace the publicity events in Shanghai and Beijing on around 1 to 3 March. The publicity events will be a grand affair. Jet Star Entertainment, February 2003
-- Shenjiang Movie Marathon Night
-- Drunken Monkey Plot --
Below is a slightly different plot synopsis of Drunken Monkey, which is to be released early next year, as based on Dongfang Culture Weekly:
Zhen Yuan Armed Escort Agency discovers someone from within is involved in smuggling and to purge the sect of evildoers, sends Master Wen Biao to look into the matter. Master Wen Biao discovers that the perpetrator is his brother Wen Bao. When he is about to deal with him, his daughter dashes out. Taking pity on the kid, Wen Biao decides to give his brother a chance. Yu Haiyang, the chief of the escort agency, being jealous of Wen Biao's talents and fearing that he might take over his position one day, comes up with a plan to harm him. He has Wen Biao maimed and thrown into the river...
-- Drunken Monkey on UK Magazine --
The third issue of British magazine Oriental Film Review offers some preview coverage on Drunken Monkey, along with production shots and stills from the movie. 19 (rather small) pictures of the movie may be found on its site at this location. Monkeypeaches, Nov 2002
-- Zhejiang Jingu Film Workshop Aims at Striking Gold Overseas with Drunken Monkey --
The success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, makes people see the hopes of Chinese films doing well in international market. So, there are people who said that this is the year of Chinese wuxia movies: Zhang Yimou's Hero, Michelle Yeoh's The Touch and He Ping's Heroes of Heaven and Earth are all coming to the silver screen. This reporter learned from Zhejiang Jingu Film Workshop that its joint-production with Hong Kong Shaw Brothers Organisation has successfully wrapped up after three months of shooting and is now in post production, which is to be completed by end of August and will be released by the end of the year.
According to Producer Huang Lei Guang, the investors from Mainland China and abroad are confident about the future of Chinese wuxia movies, which accounts for their motive for funding the HK$16 million Drunken Monkey. The first scene shot was a preview scene to serve as a promotional trailer intended for the US market. Currently, many US and Europe distributors are negotiating for its overseas distribution rights, with the bids going bullish steadily. Huang Lei Guang did not reveal the actual price of the distribution rights but said that the overseas distributors' interest in Drunken Monkey is due mainly to its unadorned, strictly traditional kungfu.
Drunken Monkey is an action comedy with a pretty straightforward story on seeking revenge. It combines talents from three lands: Wu Jing from Mainland, Shannon Yao Yao, the only female lead from Taiwan. However, the most striking personality is Lau Kar Leung, Wong Fei Hung's third generation disciple. As one who insists on having authentic, traditional kungfu and fights in a similar fashion to Bruce Lee, he is being acknowledged as one of the most influential figures in Hong Kong movie industry. During the shooting inauguration, when Lau Kar Leung was interviewed, the still energetic, vibrant old man explained confidently that his secret weapon is no reliance of special effects. Rather, Drunken Monkey is a movie of orthodox Chinese kungfu, in its original form. Pic Hangzhou Daily
-- Zhejiang Jingu Film Workshop Invites Stephen Chow's Master to Come out of Retirement --
Who's the most obstinate martial arts director of the present day? It's neither Yuen Wo Ping nor Ma Yuk Sing, but Liu Chia Liang (Lau Kar Leung), who created much sensation 10 years ago. Liu Chia Liang retired 15 years ago. Had not Shaw Brothers staged a comeback with Drunken Monkey, nobody would have guessed he was once the teacher of such famous stars as Stephen Chow, Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok, etc. Yesterday afternoon, at Shanghai Songjiang Shooting Base, Drunken Monkey's cast astounded the attendees with authentic martial arts display with their lethal moves; Liu Chia Liang himself did a display of Monkey Fist; his posture, his strokes, his manner possessed the brooding presence of someone from the pugilistic fraternity. His punches and kicks floored the attendees who were so accustomed to CGIs.
While Liu Chia Liang is already 66, sickness is not part of his vocabulary. His kungfu is noteworthy, and when he speaks, no microphone is necessary. He said he had "done over 400 movies after being in the entertainment circle for 50 years, having acted in tens of Wong Fei Hung movie series." Being a real man, he doesn't talk about his past achievements. However, anyone who is familiar with Chinese wushu movies would know that he was the first martial arts choreographer to be promoted to a director in Hong Kong and that he liked using kungfu moves to portray a the various states of life and a person's conditions and feelings. "I am going to incorporate every kungfu I've learned into Drunken Monkey, to fight with real physical strength, and not to depend on special effects." Patting on his chest, Liu Chia Liang declared stridently.
Having done over 400 movies and collaborated with countless big stars, Liu Chia Liang suddenly felt in the impetus to comment about the big shots he had worked with.
"Aaron Kwok, ha ha! He fought like dancers." As he spoke, Liu Chia Liang imitated some Aaron Kwok's dance steps
"Jet Li, that was wushu, not kungfu." With eyes as perspicacious as that of an eagle, he was able to see through a person inside out.
"Stephen Chow, he was very hardworking, training in martial arts daily; Andy Lau, he's a smart alec who often made use of some clever manoeuvres."
The success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, brought about a surge in popularity of wuxia films. Liu Chia Liang thought otherwise, "Lee Ang once sought me to be Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's martial arts director. However, I am not that keen on working with Americans. Our understandings are different. Moreover, later, after watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I found the action to be too simplistic. Maybe, the Americans liked it. I admire Lee Ang, and admiration doesn't mean support." So, whom does Liu Chia Liang support? Bruce Lee. Hangzhou Daily, 13 March 2002, Song Xiao Mei
-- Real Fights in Drunken Monkey --
Shooting of Drunken Monkey has been completed in the second week of June. To stress on authenticity, Lau Kar Leung (Liu Chia Liang) strictly demanded true full-contact fights from every cast member. When this reporter visited their last shooting base, which was in Shanghai, he witnessed the filming of a ten-second fight scene between Wu Jing and Hung Gar Fist expert, Chi Kuan Chun, Wong Fei Hong's fourth generation disciple. Over two and a half hours were spent on the scene. Because of the real fights, the fists and staff hit each other's head, chest and legs. Under the direction of Lau Kar Leung, the set was boiling with ominous atmosphere. Wu Jing was bruised all over his body, his nose and legs were hit by the staff just before the reporter spoke to him. He said, "It's alright, I am covered by insurance. Let's fight again!" which brought about applause from the crew. The other cast member, Chi Kuan Chun, is also not someone to be trifled with. While he is already 54, he has built a muscular body through years of hard work. For the sake of Drunken Monkey, he often wore 20 - 30 heavy silver rings on his arms, while, at the same time, wielded a sabre or staff. He intended to set up a wushu training centre overseas after the movie was done, to restore the glory and awe of Hung Gar. United Daily, 17 June 2002. By Liu Zi Feng
-- Drunken Monkey: Wu Jing Learning New Styles --
Drunken Monkey is Wu Jing's third movie and this is the first
time Wu Jing works with Liu Chia Liang. Wu Jing is doing Drunken Fist and Monkey
Fist in Drunken Monkey. These are something which he had never done before. Liu
Chia Liang is someone who emphasises authentic fights in his movies. Wu Jing's
forte is Taichi, a gentle style of martial arts, and Long Fist, which employs
distant movements, while Liu Chia Liang specialises in Hung Gar Fist, a
Beijing TV Weekly, 2002, Issue 17 / United Daily / Hengdian Orient Hollywood
-- Drunken Monkey: Shanghai Set Report --
When interviewing Wu Jing, the action actor of Drunken Monkey that was in production in Shanghai, Wu Jing, he puckishly passed the microphone to an assistant director from Hong Kong, confounding this reporter with his half-baked Hong Kong style National Language. Grinning, Wu Jing spoke in properly enunciated Mandarin, "Let me talk, but my National Language is not as good as his." >> Full Story <<
-- Drunken Monkey - Wu Jing: Most Grateful to the Seniors for their Grooming, Admired Senior Brother Jet Li Most --
When interviewing Wu Jing, the action actor of Drunken Monkey (zui hou) that was
in production in Shanghai (It has moved location to Zhejiang Hengdian on 28
March), he puckishly passed the microphone to an
assistant director from Hong Kong, confounding this reporter with his half-baked
Hong Kong style National Language. Grinning broadly, Wu Jing spoke in proper Mandarin, "Let me talk, but my National Language is not as good as
Real Kungfu in Drunken Monkey. As
Drunken Monkey is Shaw Brothers' brand new project since their withdrawal from the
movie industry around ten years ago, everyone in the production is very
dedicated - no one dares idle about. They even specially invited the legendary
marital arts director,
Liu Chia Liang, to stage a comeback. The movie, set in the 1930s, is about two
youngsters' pursuit of martial arts from a kungfu master and their
experiences, feelings and dawning realisation of life, their love for a girl. It's a
movie which pays tribute to martial arts code of ethics and philosophies, and
To the audiences who have grown weary of special effects, it would be fabulous
to be able to to view a movie with real fights. "All the actors and actresses
possess martial arts skills and would not be using special effects. Using stunt
doubles would be the last thing to come to our mind."
explained Wu Jing. Liu Chia Liang had once indicated that, "To produce a kungfu
movie that the Americans would have great difficulty accomplishing."
Research on Acting. Stars who started off in action movies depend
mainly on their extraordinary martial arts skills. On the other hand, the acting
skills needed in dramatic parts can be a major hurdle to them. Jackie Chan makes
up for his shortcoming with his comic skills, while Jet Li only figured out his
route of acting after many years. Wu Jing has also experienced this, "Being
action stars, we are not blessed with training in drama schools, so we have to
put in extra effort in acting. This is the first time I am acting in a modern
show. There are various areas which are new to me. I hope to achieve a
breakthrough in acting and my presentation of the character.I am especially grateful to Yuen Wo Ping for grooming me, teaching me about acting in front
of the camera, so that I may get into my role. Recently, Ng Man Tat sent me a
book, Birth of a Role, while Cheung Sing Yim also gave me a set of The Self
Discipline of an Actor (or Actress), hoping that I may upgrade my acting skills, become an
Admires Jet Li Most. When talking about China's action stars, Wu Jing admired Jet Li most, "He is my fellow senior brother, there are some kind of Beijing Wushu traits in our actions. I feel a certain closeness to him, and most importantly, he has achieved what I had wished to do but could yet accomplish. It's not easy for action stars, including myself, to have come thus far in the showbiz. We have to make more sacrifices, put in more effort and work harder than other actors." On the directors he has worked with, Wu Jing said, "Cheung Sing Yim and Yuen Wo Ping brought me into the entertainment arena. Director Cheung is more traditional, and pays attention to the essence of wushu. Director Yuen's camera work is very stable and solid, carrying the power of wushu. Liu Chia Liang is a Wong Fei Hong third generation disciple, and commands a great deal of respect. Each of them has his own style and are pragmatically making kungfu movies."
Meiri Paper, 9 April, Yi Fei, Source: Sina
-- Drunken Monkey: A
Romance Kungfu Movie? --
-- CGI Free Drunken Monkey --
Drunken Monkey will not be relying on CGIs. It will showcase authentic kungfu and full-contact sparrings. Besides Wu Jing, it will also be featuring Liu Chia Liang's (Lau Kar Leung) brothers, Liu Chia Yung (Lau Kar Wing) and Gordon Liu Chia Hui (Lau Kar Fei), and National Wushu Champion Li Hai-Tao. Its overseas distribution rights had already been sold even before the movie began production.
So how's Wu Jing's ability in doing the Drunken Style? Below is a quote from Raffi's Wushu Page:
--Being Weary of Period Dramas, Wu Jing Wishes to
Change his Image with Drunken Monkey--
FM365, 9 March 2002, Information Courtesy of Chuchu
-- Shaw Brothers Film Company
Re-emerges, with Wu Jing Set to Star in Drunken Monkey --
Shaw Brothers Organisation, which had not been involved in the film industry for
the past 10 years, shall be returning to the movie industry, with Drunken Monkey
as their first project. After having surveyed various film companies in
Mainland, Shaw Brothers decided to team up with Zhejiang "Zhong-Ying Zhe-Ying
Jin-Gu" Film Workshop. In this year, Shaw Brothers Organisation shall be working
with Zhejiang Film Workshop in Mainland China to shoot all their movies and more
than 100 hrs of drama serials and Drunken Monkey - Zui-4 Hou-1 - heralds the
start of their collaboration.
--Shaw Brothers teaming up with Zhejiang Film
Workshop to produce Drunken Monkey--
Qianjiang Evening News, 7 March 2002, Reporter Chai Hong Bing
--Kungfu Youngster Makes a Leap
Towards the Silver Screen, Invited by Shaw Brothers to join Drunken Monkey --
Wu Jing had always been cast in period dramas with either a bald head or wearing a wig. Drunken Monkey is the first time he gets to appear in a modern look. Drunken Monkey is about a "man" of the 1920s century who roams about the pugilistic world. Wu Jing is particularly excited about his role in Drunken Monkey and greatly wishes that his appearance would look more macho. In the recent days, he has been struggling to let his hair grow longer, and he is not even shaving his chin, hoping to grow a beard to let the audience feel something different.
However, Wu Jing, who looks like a kid, is in no way childish. Instead, he is loyal, and very kind and understanding to his parents and the weak. Majority of the productions who had worked with Wu Jing knows his one phrase character. Should they complained about limited production budget and asked if it's possible for the lead actor to lower his fee? Wu Jing, without any hesitation, would nod his head. Sometimes, when his production wages have been delayed once and again, Wu Jing is loathe to chase after them for the payments. While his income is not high, Wu Jing still bought a three-room, two-hall house in the city area of Beijing's for his parents as that place's travelling around there is more convenient and there are shopping centres within a stone's throw. Beside giving a some of money to his parents for each of his productions, Wu Jing is also adopting two poor kids without letting them know of his identity, secretly taking care of their well-being.
United Daily, 4 March 2002, Reporter Liu Zi Feng
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