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Veteran Hong Kong actor-producer Raymond Wong has launched new film studio Mandarin Motion Pictures to produce and distribute the next titles in Donnie Yen’s wildly popular Ip Man martial arts film franchise.
The company will make its market debut at the Hong Kong Filmart this week to present both Ip Man 4 and franchise spinoff Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy, co-starring Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Blade Runner 2049) and directed by Yuen Woo-ping, to buyers, as well as an additional slate of local action films, dramas and thrillers.
Mandarin Motion Pictures was established in the wake of the sale of Wong’s Pegasus Entertainment to Nice Rich Group Limited in October. Nice Rich acquired 58.71 percent of Pegasus Entertainment, which is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, for HK$486 million ($62 million).
The 71-year-old Wong has been a prominent figure in the Hong Kong film industry since the 1980s, when he co-founded industry-dominating hit factory Cinema City, which produced the massively successful Aces Go Places franchise and the Happy Ghost comedy series, featuring Wong as writer and lead actor. The company also nurtured a generation of directors, including John Woo, Tsui Hark and Johnnie To.
Wong then established Mandarin Films in 1991, which was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2001 and later produced the first two Ip Man films (2008 and 2010) and the Yen-starring comic book adaptation Dragon Tiger Gate (2006). In 2009, Wong left the company and set up Pegasus Motion Pictures with his son, Edmond Wong. Pegasus produced and distributed a number of local genre hits and later expanded to exhibition with the establishment of Hong Kong’s Cinema City theater circuit in 2014.
The new Mandarin Motion Pictures is producing and distributing the announced-but-unfinished films previously on the Pegasus slate, including the latest titles in the Ip Man saga; Infernal Affairs producer John Chong’s new action-crime drama Invincible Dragon directed by Fruit Chan; and crime thrillers L Storm and P Storm, the latest iterations in actor Louis Koo’s Storm series, which began with Z Storm in 2014. Also on the slate is Tomorrow Is Another Day, a family drama nominated in four categories in the upcoming Hong Kong Film Awards; horror flicks Lucid Dreams, directed by Teddy Robin, and The Lingering, produced by Ip Man scribe Edmond Wong; prison dramas The Revenging Trio and Women in Grid; and the thriller Missing and the romantic drama 1999.
Mandarin also is operating Cinema City’s five multiplexes in Hong Kong.
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