Back in May, FUNimation announced they had acquired Herman Yau’s kung fu biopic THE LEGEND IS BORN – IP MAN (2010) for theatrical and home video release in the U.S. The film is now listed as a pre-order at Amazon with a DVD and Blu-ray release date of December 13, 2011.
The film acts as a prequel to Wilson Yip’s popular IP MAN and follows the exploits of a younger Ip Man, who would become the famous master of Wing Chun and teacher to future martial arts icon Bruce Lee. In the title role is newcomer To Yu-hang with martial arts movie veterans Fan Siu-wong, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao also featured. Ip Man’s eldest son Ip Chun has a special guest role and Tony Leung Siu-hung is action director.
A poignant tale of what it means to forge your own path, The Legend Is Born – Ip Man is a semi-biographical account of events in the early life of Wing Chun master and mentor to Bruce Lee — Ip Man. As a child, Ip Man learns the art of Wing Chun from master Chan Wah–shun, along with his adopted brother, Ip Tin–chi and childhood friend Lee Mei–wai. After Chan’s death, Ip Man continues to learn Wing Chun from his senior, Ng Chung–sok, before leaving home to study in Hong Kong. Along the way, Ip Man deals with issues of racism and studies under Master Leung Bik to develop a new and improved style of Wing Chun.
When Ip Man returns to his home town years later to reunite with his peers, new challenges arise as Ip Man’s old master sees that Ip Man has developed a new style of Wing Chun which differs from the orthodox style. Things get further complicated when Ip Man falls in love with Cheung Wing–shing, the daughter of the vice–mayor of Foshan, leaving Lee Mei–wai, his childhood friend, to struggle with her feelings for Ip Man and accept Tin–chi’s marriage proposal. When Ip Man is arrested as the prime suspect in the murder of Lee Mei–wai’s godfather, what follows is a suspenseful climax of intrigue and betrayal.
Blu-ray • DVD • Fan Siu-wong • Funimation • Herman Yau • Sammo Hung • The Legend is Born: Ip Man (2010) • To Yu-hang • Tony Leung Siu-Hung • Wing Chun • Yuen Biao