Donnie Yen announces ‘Ip Man 5’

Donnie Yen announces ‘Ip Man 5’

After squaring off with John Wick and living to tell the tale, Donnie Yen is pulling off another impossible feat: Bringing Ip Man back from the dead.

On Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, action movie star Donnie Yen and Hong Kong-based studio Mandarin Motion Pictures announced three new films starring Yen: Misjudgement, a new original feature; Flashpoint: Resurgence, a sequel to the 2007 cop drama Flashpoint; and Ip Man 5. None have release dates.

Of the three, Ip Man 5 is by far the biggest bombshell, as a surprise new entry in Yen’s star-making series loosely based on the life of Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man, the teacher of Bruce Lee. Yen retired from the role after 2019’s Ip Man 4: The Finale, which ended its story with Ip Man’s death from cancer in 1972.

Little is known about Ip Man 5, but Yen and the studio shared a poster on social media to confirm its development. It shows a training dummy surrounded by the unconscious bodies of faceless men, with swords and other blades scattered around them. Yen does not appear on the poster, and Yen did not write a caption besides tagging the studio and including relevant hashtags.

It’s unknown what story Ip Man 5 will tell, or even how much Donnie Yen will actually appear in it. The 59-year-old actor proved in John Wick: Chapter 4 that he’s still capable of action-oriented performances, but given both how the series ended and Yen’s wishes to move on, it’s unclear whether Ip Man 5 will actually star Yen or just feature the veteran in a smaller role.

As for what Ip Man 5 could be about, it could explore an overlooked chapter in Ip Man’s life. Or it could take place in the past as a historical prequel; based on the antiquated weapons seen in the poster, Ip Man 5 could be an “origin story” for the Wing Chun fighting style, which Ip Man popularized but did not invent. Less likely but not off the table is a supernatural tale where Ip Man comes back from the dead. That might sound silly, but this is the same film series where Mike Tyson played a landlord and Ip Man beat up teenagers at an American high school.

While John Wick: Chapter 4 could have, and maybe should have, led to Donnie Yen making more movies in Hollywood, Ip Man 5 shows he isn’t afraid to go back to where his star power began.

There is no release date for Ip Man 5.

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