Ip Man is a 2008 Hong Kong semi biographical martial arts film very loosely based on the life of Ip Man, a grandmaster of the martial art Wing Chun and master of Bruce Lee. The film focuses on events in Ip's life that supposedly took place in the city of Foshan during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The film was directed by Wilson Yip, and stars Donnie Yen as Ip Man, with martial arts choreography by Sammo Hung. The supporting cast includes Simon Yam, Lynn Hung, Lam Ka-tung, Xing Yu and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi.
The idea of an Ip Man biopic originated in 1998 when Jeffrey Lau and Corey Yuen discussed the idea of making a film based on Bruce Lee's martial arts master. However, the studio producing that proposed film closed, and the project was abandoned. Producer Raymond Wong decided to develop his own Ip Man film with full consent from Ip's sons, and had filmmakers head to Foshan to research Ip's life. Ip Chun, Ip Man's eldest son, along with martial arts master Leo Au-yeung and several other Wing Chun practitioners served as technical consultants for the film. Principal photography for Ip Man began in March 2008 and ended in August; filming took place in Shanghai, which was used to architecturally recreate Foshan. During filming, conflicts arose between the producers of Ip Man and filmmaker Wong Kar-wai over the film's working title. Wong, who had been developing his own Ip Man biopic, clashed with the producers after learning that their film would be titled Grandmaster Ip Man (Chinese: 一代宗師葉問), which was too similar to the title of Wong's film. The producers of Ip Man agreed to change the film title, despite Wong's film being in development hell. Wong's film, titled The Grandmasters, is scheduled to be released in late 2011.
Ip Man premiered in Beijing on 10 December 2008, and was released theatrically in Hong Kong on 19 December 2008, receiving widespread acclaim from critics and audiences. Prior to the film's release, Raymond Wong announced that there would be a sequel; a second installment titled Ip Man 2, was released in April 2010. Ip Man grossed over US$21 million worldwide, despite not being released in North America and most of Europe. Following its success, the film was nominated for 12 Hong Kong Film Awards, winning awards for Best Film and Best Action Choreography.