Actor Donnie Yen to star in Ip Man 5 even though the gongfu master died in Ip Man 4
HONG KONG – Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen will be back as Ip Man, the legendary wing chun master and teacher of gongfu actor Bruce Lee, whom he played in the popular Ip Man film series (2008 to 2019).
However, fans wonder how the franchise will be revived. The titular hero died of cancer at the end of Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019), the film concluding with Lee paying his respects at the funeral.
Other than the four films in the series, there was also a 2018 spinoff starring Chinese actor Max Zhang.
At France’s Cannes Film Festival on Thursday, Hong Kong-based Mandarin Motion Pictures announced three new films starring Yen – Ip Man 5; Flash Point: Resurgence, a sequel to the action film Flash Point (2007); and Misjudgement.
The movie company also released the concept posters for the three movies, with the poster for Ip Man 5 showing a wing chun dummy surrounded by bodies and swords on the ground.
Hong Kong movie producer Raymond Wong, who was involved in the previous Ip Man films, told Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily News that he had been asked whether there will be another instalment due to the series’ stellar box-office showing.
“Donnie and I have discussed the possibility of making another film for the 15th anniversary of Ip Man,” the 77-year-old said. “We have agreed that, most importantly, this will not be a rehashing. It should give fans something new.”
Wong said more details will be provided when the script is finalised. He also deflected talk of an astronomical fee for Yen to star in the three movies, saying his collaborations with the actor are “priceless”.
The 59-year-old action star also did not give more details when he was asked if the original cast of Flash Point will return for the sequel. The original film, directed by Wilson Yip, starred Yen, Hong Kong actor Louis Koo and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing.
Yen, who recently played a blind assassin in the action thriller John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023), told Oriental Daily News he has been seeking breakthroughs in his movies.
He said he hoped to continue to challenge his limits in Chinese-language action movies, adding that his mixed-martial arts scenes in Flash Point are still talked about by many people after 16 years.
He shared the three concept posters on his social media, asking fans on Weibo which movie he should film first.