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Yuen Woo-ping

Yuen Woo-ping

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Yuen Woo-ping is a Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 martial arts choreographer
Stage combat
Stage combat is a specialized technique in theatre designed to create the illusion of physical combat without causing harm to the performers. It is employed in live stage plays as well as operatic and ballet productions. The term is also used informally to describe fight choreography for other...

 and film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

, renowned as one of the most successful and influential figures in the world of Hong Kong action cinema
Hong Kong action cinema
Hong Kong action cinema is the principal source of the Hong Kong film industry's global fame. It combines elements from the action film, as codified by Hollywood, with Chinese storytelling and aesthetic traditions, to create a culturally distinctive form that nevertheless has a wide transcultural...

. He is one of the inductees on the Avenue of Stars
Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong
The Avenue of Stars , modelled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is located along the Victoria Harbour waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. It honours celebrities of the Hong Kong film industry.-History:...

 in Hong Kong. Yuen is also a son of Yuen Siu-tien, a renowned martial arts film
Martial arts film
Martial arts film is a film genre. A sub-genre of the action film, martial arts films contain numerous fights between characters, usually as the films' primary appeal and entertainment value, and often as a method of storytelling and character expression and development. Martial arts are frequently...

 actor.

Career


Yuen achieved his first directing credit in 1978 on the seminal Snake in the Eagle's Shadow
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow is a 1978 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Yuen Woo-ping his directorial debut, who has since gained international stardom as the action choreographer for films such as Iron Monkey, Fist of Legend, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Matrix series, Kill...

, starring Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan, SBS, MBE is a Hong Kong actor, action choreographer, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer and stunt performer. In his movies, he is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts...

, followed quickly by Drunken Master
Drunken Master
Drunken Master, also known as Drunk Monkey In The Tiger's Eye, is a 1978 Hong Kong martial arts comedy film directed by Yuen Woo-ping, and starring Jackie Chan, Yuen Siu-tien, and Hwang Jang Lee...

. The films were smash-hits, launching Jackie Chan as a major film-star, turning Seasonal Films into a major independent production company, and starting a trend towards comedy in martial arts film
Martial arts film
Martial arts film is a film genre. A sub-genre of the action film, martial arts films contain numerous fights between characters, usually as the films' primary appeal and entertainment value, and often as a method of storytelling and character expression and development. Martial arts are frequently...

s that continues to the present day.

Yuen went on to work with such figures as Sammo Hung
Sammo Hung
Sammo Hung is a Hong Kong actor, martial artist, film producer and director, known for his work in many martial arts films and Hong Kong action cinema...

 in Magnificent Butcher
Magnificent Butcher
Magnificent Butcher is a 1979 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film directed by Yuen Woo-ping, starring Sammo Hung, Kwan Tak-hing, Yuen Biao, Wei Pai, Lee Hoi San, Chiang Kam, Fan Mei Sheng, Fung Ging Man, Fung Hak-on and Max Lee.The film is based on the story of Lam Sai-wing, one of the...

(1979), Yuen Biao
Yuen Biao
Yuen Biao is a Hong Kong actor, martial artist. He specialises in acrobatics and Chinese martial arts and has worked on over 80 films as actor, stuntman and action choreographer...

 in Dreadnaught
Dreadnaught (film)
Dreadnaught aka Yong zhe wu ju is a 1981 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Yuen Woo-ping and starring Yuen Biao, Leung Kar Yan, and Kwan Tak-hing as Wong Fei Hung.- Plot :...

(1981), Donnie Yen
Donnie Yen
Donnie Yen is a Hong Kong actor, martial artist, film director and producer, action choreographer, and world wushu tournament medalist...

 in Iron Monkey (1993), and Jet Li
Jet Li
The fame gained by his sports winnings led to a career as a martial arts film star, beginning in mainland China and then continuing into Hong Kong. Li acquired his screen name in 1982 in the Philippines when a publicity company thought his real name was too hard to pronounce...

 and Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng is a Hong Kong-based Malaysian Chinese actress, well known for performing her own stunts in the action films that brought her to fame in the early 1990s....

 in Tai Chi Master (1993) and Wing Chun
Wing Chun (film)
Wing Chun is a 1994 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film directed by Yuen Woo-ping and stars Michelle Yeoh as the eponymous character Yim Wing-Chun, a tofu maker and martial artist who tries to protect her village's inhabitants from a group of bandits.The film was preceded by a 1994...

(1994).

Yuen's works, particularly his action choreography on Fist of Legend
Fist of Legend
Fist of Legend is a 1994 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Gordon Chan and features action choreography by Yuen Woo-ping, and also produced by and starring Jet Li. It is a remake of the 1972 film Fist of Fury, which starred Bruce Lee as the lead character...

(1994), attracted the attention of the Wachowski brothers, who hired him as the martial arts choreographer on The Matrix
The Matrix
The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction-action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving...

(1999). The success of this collaboration, plus his action choreography on the following year's hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of ethnic Chinese actors, including Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen...

, made him a highly sought after figure in Hollywood. He went on to work on the Matrix sequels and Kill Bill
Kill Bill
Kill Bill Volume 1 is a 2003 action thriller film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is the first of two volumes that were theatrically released several months apart, the second volume being Kill Bill Volume 2....

(2003).

More recent action choreography duties in Hong Kong cinema
Cinema of Hong Kong
The cinema of Hong Kong is one of the three major threads in the history of Chinese language cinema, alongside the cinema of China, and the cinema of Taiwan...

 have included Kung Fu Hustle
Kung Fu Hustle
Kung Fu Hustle is a 2004 action comedy film directed and produced by, and starring Stephen Chow. The other film producers were Chui Po-chu and Jeffrey Lau, while the screenplay was written by Huo Xin, Chan Man-keung, and Tsang Kan-cheung...

(2004), starring Stephen Chow
Stephen Chow
Stephen Chow Sing-Chi is a Hong Kong actor, comedian, screenwriter, film director and producer.- Professional career :Stephen Chow began as a temporary actor for TVB. He entered TVB in early 1980s, and was trained there, although he had few opportunities to appear in films. Chow graduated from...

, and Fearless
Fearless (2006 film)
Fearless, known in Chinese as Huo Yuanjia and Jet Li's Fearless in the United Kingdom and the United States, is a 2006 film directed by Ronny Yu and starring Jet Li...

(2006), starring Jet Li.

Yuen also choreographed the action sequences in The Forbidden Kingdom (2008), a Hollywood martial arts-adventure film. It is the first film to star together two of the best-known names in the martial arts film genre, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. He worked as a stunt coordinator for his first Indian film, Enthiran, directed by S. Shankar
S. Shankar
Shankar is an Indian film director and producer who predominantly works in Tamil cinema. He made his directional debut in Gentleman for which he was awarded the Filmfare Best Director Award...

, which released in 2010.

In late 2010, Yuen released his first film as director since 1996, True Legend
True Legend
True Legend is a 2010 martial arts film directed by Yuen Woo-ping, starring Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, Jay Chou, Michelle Yeoh, Andy On, David Carradine, Guo Xiaodong, Feng Xiaogang, Cung Le, Gordon Liu, Bryan Leung and Jacky Heung....

, starring Vincent Zhao
Vincent Zhao
Vincent Zhao Wenzhuo , sometimes credited as Chiu Man-cheuk, is a Chinese actor and martial artist. Zhao is best known playing the role of Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung in the Once Upon a Time in China film and television series.-Early life:Zhao was born in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, as the...

 and Jay Chou
Jay Chou
Jay Chou is a Taiwanese musician, singer-songwriter, music and film producer, actor and director who has won the World Music Award four times. In 1998 he was discovered in a talent contest where he displayed his piano and song-writing skills. Over the next two years, he was hired to compose for...

. He has recently worked as a fight choreography consultant on Ninja Assassin
Ninja Assassin
Ninja Assassin is a 2009 American martial arts film directed by James McTeigue. The story was written by Matthew Sand, with a screenplay penned by J. Michael Straczynski of Babylon 5. The film stars South Korean pop musician Rain as a disillusioned assassin looking for retribution against his...

(2009).

As director


  • Snake in the Eagle's Shadow
    Snake in the Eagle's Shadow
    Snake in the Eagle's Shadow is a 1978 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Yuen Woo-ping his directorial debut, who has since gained international stardom as the action choreographer for films such as Iron Monkey, Fist of Legend, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Matrix series, Kill...

    (1978) (Cantonese title: Se ying diu sau)
  • Drunken Master
    Drunken Master
    Drunken Master, also known as Drunk Monkey In The Tiger's Eye, is a 1978 Hong Kong martial arts comedy film directed by Yuen Woo-ping, and starring Jackie Chan, Yuen Siu-tien, and Hwang Jang Lee...

    (1978) (Cantonese title: Jui kuen)
  • Dance of the Drunk Mantis
    Dance of the Drunk Mantis
    Dance of the Drunk Mantis is a 1979 Hong Kong kung fu comedy film directed by Yuen Siu Tien’s real life son Yuen Woo-ping, starring Yuen Siu Tien, Hwang Jang Lee, Linda Lin, Yuen Shun Yee, Charlie Shek and Yuen Kwai...

    (1979) (Mandarin title: Nan bei zui quan)
  • Magnificent Butcher
    Magnificent Butcher
    Magnificent Butcher is a 1979 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film directed by Yuen Woo-ping, starring Sammo Hung, Kwan Tak-hing, Yuen Biao, Wei Pai, Lee Hoi San, Chiang Kam, Fan Mei Sheng, Fung Ging Man, Fung Hak-on and Max Lee.The film is based on the story of Lam Sai-wing, one of the...

     
    (1979) (Mandarin title: Lin shi rong)
  • The Buddhist Fist  (1980) (Mandarin title: Fo Zhang luo han quan)
  • Dreadnaught
    Dreadnaught (film)
    Dreadnaught aka Yong zhe wu ju is a 1981 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Yuen Woo-ping and starring Yuen Biao, Leung Kar Yan, and Kwan Tak-hing as Wong Fei Hung.- Plot :...

    (1981) (Mandarin title: Yong zhe wu ju)
  • Miracle Fighters  (1982) (Qi men dun jia)
  • Legend of a Fighter
    Legend of a Fighter
    Legend of a Fighter is a 1982 Hong Kong martial arts film based on the story of Chinese martial artist Huo Yuanjia...

    (1982) (Huo Yuan-Jia)
  • Shaolin Drunkard
    Shaolin Drunkard
    Shaolin Drunkard is a 1983 Kung Fu comedy directed by Yuen Woo-ping, written by Yuen Woo-ping and Chung Hing Chiu, and starring Cheung-Yan Yuen, Eddy Ko, and Shun-Yee Yuen....

    (1983) (Tian shi zhuang xie)
  • Drunken Tai Chi
    Drunken Tai Chi
    Drunken Tai Chi is a 1984 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Yuen Woo Ping and starring Donnie Yen in his first major role. Donnie Yen had signed a four-film contract after winning an open talent search hosted by Yuen Woo Ping, and "Drunken Tai Chi" was one of the contracted films...

    (1984) (Xiao tai ji)
  • Mismatched Couples
    Mismatched Couples
    Mismatched Couples is a 1985 Hong Kong film directed by Yuen Woo-ping starring him and martial artist Donnie Yen....

    (1985) (Qing feng di shou)
  • Dragon Vs. Vampire (aka The Close Encounters of Vampire) (1986) (Jiang shi pa pa)
  • Tiger Cage (1988) (Te jing tu long)
  • Huang jia shi jie zhi IV: Zhi ji zheng ren (1989)
aka In the Line of Duty
aka In the Line of Duty IV
aka Yes, Madam 4
  • Xi hei qian (1990)
aka Tiger Cage 2
Tiger Cage 2
Tiger Cage 2 is a 1990 Hong Kong action film directed by Yuen Woo-ping and starring Donnie Yen.-Plot:Donnie Yen plays a hot-headed ex-cop named Dragon Yau whose attitude has got him in trouble with his bosses and his wife. On a trip to the lawyers, he is witness to a robbery where a suitcase of...

  • Leng mian ju ji shou (1991)
aka Tiger Cage 3
  • Last Hero in China
    Last Hero in China
    Last Hero in China is a 1993 Hong Kong film written and directed by Wong Jing. It was released after the original Once Upon a Time in China trilogy...

    (1993)
  • Su qi er (1993)
aka Fist of the Red Dragon (USA: video title)
aka Hero Among Heroes
Hero Among Heroes
Heroes Among Heroes is a 1993 Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Yuen Wo Ping and starring martial arts star Donnie Yen.The film shows opium smugglers in the Qing Dynasty, China and Officer Lin Zexu and Master Wong Fei Hung fighting against them...

  • Iron Monkey (1993)
  • Tai Chi Master (1993)
  • Wing Chun
    Wing Chun (film)
    Wing Chun is a 1994 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film directed by Yuen Woo-ping and stars Michelle Yeoh as the eponymous character Yim Wing-Chun, a tofu maker and martial artist who tries to protect her village's inhabitants from a group of bandits.The film was preceded by a 1994...

    (1994)
  • Huo yun chuan qi (1994)
aka Fire Dragon
  • Jie tou sha shou (1995) (as Jua Lu-jiang)
aka Iron Monkey 2
  • Hu meng wei long (1995)
aka Red Wolf
  • Tai ji quan (1996)
aka Tai Chi Boxer (Hong Kong: English title) (UK: literal English title)
aka Tai Chi 2
  • True Legend
    True Legend
    True Legend is a 2010 martial arts film directed by Yuen Woo-ping, starring Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun, Jay Chou, Michelle Yeoh, Andy On, David Carradine, Guo Xiaodong, Feng Xiaogang, Cung Le, Gordon Liu, Bryan Leung and Jacky Heung....

    (2010)
aka True Legend of Beggar Su (Working title)

Selected filmography as action choreographer/fight advisor

  • The Bloody Fists
    The Bloody Fists
    The Bloody Fists , aka Deadly Buddhist Raiders or Death Beach, is a 1972 Hong Kong action movie directed by See-Yuen Ng and starring Chen Siu Sing and Kuan Tai Chen...

    (1972)
  • Born Invincible
    Born Invincible
    Born Invincible is a 1978 Taiwanese kung fu film directed by Joseph Kuo, with action choreography by Yuen Woo-ping, and starring Carter Wong Ka Tat, Jack Long and Leih Lo. Currently, only the English language dubbed version is widely available on UK DVD format. The original Mandarin version was...

    (1978)
  • Fist of Legend
    Fist of Legend
    Fist of Legend is a 1994 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Gordon Chan and features action choreography by Yuen Woo-ping, and also produced by and starring Jet Li. It is a remake of the 1972 film Fist of Fury, which starred Bruce Lee as the lead character...

    (1994)
  • The Water Margin
    The Water Margin (1997 TV series)
    The Water Margin is a 1998 Chinese television series adapted from Shi Nai'an's classical novel of the same title. It was produced by CCTV with Zhang Jizhong as producer. It was first broadcast in China in January 1998...

    (1997)
  • The Matrix
    The Matrix
    The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction-action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving...

    (1999)
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of ethnic Chinese actors, including Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen...

    (2000)
  • The Matrix Reloaded
    The Matrix Reloaded
    The Matrix Reloaded is a 2003 American science fiction film and the second installment in The Matrix trilogy, written and directed by the Wachowskis. It premiered on May 7, 2003, in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, and went on general release by Warner Bros. in North American theaters on May 15,...

    (2003)
  • The Matrix Revolutions
    The Matrix Revolutions
    The Matrix Revolutions is a 2003 American science fiction film and the third installment of The Matrix trilogy. The film was released six months following The Matrix Reloaded. The film was written and directed by the Wachowski brothers and released simultaneously in sixty countries on November 5,...

    (2003)
  • Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
  • Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)
  • Kung Fu Hustle
    Kung Fu Hustle
    Kung Fu Hustle is a 2004 action comedy film directed and produced by, and starring Stephen Chow. The other film producers were Chui Po-chu and Jeffrey Lau, while the screenplay was written by Huo Xin, Chan Man-keung, and Tsang Kan-cheung...

    (2004)
  • Danny the Dog
    Unleashed (film)
    Unleashed , is a 2005 American-British-French martial arts action thriller film directed by Louis Leterrier and written by Luc Besson. Film stars Jet Li, Bob Hoskins, Morgan Freeman and Kerry Condon...

    (a.k.a. Unleashed
    Unleashed (film)
    Unleashed , is a 2005 American-British-French martial arts action thriller film directed by Louis Leterrier and written by Luc Besson. Film stars Jet Li, Bob Hoskins, Morgan Freeman and Kerry Condon...

    ) (2005)
  • House of Fury
    House of Fury
    House of Fury is a 2005 Hong Kong martial arts-action film directed by the film's co-star Stephen Fung. Jackie Chan was one of the executive producers .-Plot:...

    (2005)
  • Fearless
    Fearless (2006 film)
    Fearless, known in Chinese as Huo Yuanjia and Jet Li's Fearless in the United Kingdom and the United States, is a 2006 film directed by Ronny Yu and starring Jet Li...

    (2006)
  • The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)
  • Enthiran (2010)
  • The Grandmaster (2011)

Awards and nominations

Year |Category Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of ethnic Chinese actors, including Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen...

2006 43rd Golden Horse Awards  Best Action Choreography Fearless
Fearless (2006 film)
Fearless, known in Chinese as Huo Yuanjia and Jet Li's Fearless in the United Kingdom and the United States, is a 2006 film directed by Ronny Yu and starring Jet Li...


External links