The transcript below is from the video “Top 10 Behind the Scenes Secrets of the Ip Man Franchise” by ( YouTube Channel – Top 10 lists on Music, TV, Film and Video Games – Narration by Rebecca/ WatchMojoLady):

These surprising behind the scenes secrets are almost as interesting as what happened on screen. For this list, we’ll be looking at the most fascinating lesser-known facts behind the making of the “Ip Man” movies. Our countdown includes On-Set Injuries, Actual Ip Man Connection, “Ip Man 4” Was Protested, and more! Which behind the scenes secret was YOUR favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Rebecca Brayton (

What happened behind the camera is almost as interesting as what happened in front of it. Welcome to WatchMojo. And today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Behind the Scenes Secrets of the IP Man Franchise. For this list, we’re looking at the most fascinating lesser known facts behind the making of the IP Man movies. If you like what you’re hearing, be sure to check out the full song at the link below.

Rebecca Brayton (

Number 10: Familiar Bruce Lee

Since Bruce Lee’s untimely death in 1973, a multitude of actors have played the martial artist and inherited his roles in various forms of media. Taking up the mantle in the IP Man series is Hong Kong actor, Danny Chan, who appears as Lee in the third and fourth installments. What fans of Chan will note is that it wasn’t his go-round portraying the young dragon as he had previously done so on the CCTV series, ‘The Legend of Bruce Lee.’ While his first stint occurred a full seven years prior to IP Man 3, casting directors must have remembered his turn when realizing he was still right for the part.

Rebecca Brayton (

Number 9: On-Set Injuries

The amount of fight choreography going on these movies, you gotta know that some people got hurt. Chief among these were the actors who performed their own stunts. In the first film, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi suffered a concussion from being struck one too many times by Donnie Yen who nearly lost an eye earlier on when an ax got a little too close. In IP Man 2, fight choreographer Sammo Hung refused hospitalization until the scene was completed – fitting for his character and would eventually receive four stitches. And lastly, legendary boxer Mike Tyson fractured a finger in his thrilling bout with Donnie Yen. Actually, you know what? Kudos to the stunt team when that’s the worst it gets.

Rebecca Brayton (

Number 8: Actual IP Man Connection

Though Bruce Lee will always be remembered as IP Man’s greatest pupil, the truth is that he brought up a whole host of prominent martial artists. Given the amount of on-screen talent in the franchise, one could surmise the someone would have a connection to the real-life Grandmaster. Sure enough, Chris Collins who plays karate master Colin Freighter in IP Man 4 is actually versed in IP Man’s brand of kung fu, wing chun himself. His teacher was none other than Grandmaster Leung Ting who studied behind closed doors with IP Man. As a side note, some contest Ting’s relation to IP Man including his son Yip Chun, but there is some photographic evidence.

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Number 7: IP Man’s Sons Served as a Technical Consultant

Speaking of Yip Chun, when pre-production rolled around on the first IP Man movie, producers wanted to inject an air of authenticity in regard to IP Man’s hometown of Foshan and martial arts on display. They consulted a great many wing chun experts, and one of them was one of IP Man’s real-life son, Yip Chun, a grandmaster in the craft as well.


“Mommy said stop fighting or everything will be broken.”

IP Man:


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Chun, having been born in 1924, roughly thirteen years before the film takes place, naturally made recommendations on certain story elements as well. Though the entire series is filled with factual inaccuracies – more on that in a minute – they couldn’t have gotten anyone closer to the real IP Man himself to make sure they honored his essence and legacy on screen.

Rebecca Brayton (

Number 6: The Last Two Films Might Not Have Been Made

Now that the series have definitively wrapped up, it’s difficult not to imagine us not getting the complete 4-film arc for IP Man that we did. However, based on talk between installments, it look like we wouldn’t even get three as there appeared to be something of a consensus between Donnie Yen and producer Raymond Wong that it felt unnecessary. Yen was quoted as saying, ‘Because IP Man 2 will incontrovertibly become a classic, bettering the first, I believe it’s best to end something when it’s at perfection and leave behind a good memory.’

Donnie Yen:

“Although people have different status in life, he doesn’t believe that one person’s integrity is worth more than others.”

Rebecca Brayton (

Thankfully, it was franchise director Wilson Yip who convinced them to press on with a promise that IP’s relationship with Bruce Lee would be explored.

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Number 5: It’s Mostly Fiction

Don’t let that on-screen text at the end of the movies fool you. These adventures are not based in reality. Yes, IP Man was a real Wing Chun Grandmaster who really did mentor Bruce Lee and did move from Foshen to Hong Kong. But basically, everything that propels the plot is embellishment. As awesome as it would be were it true, no, IP Man did not fight a Japanese general, a British boxer, the Hong Kong triad, or an American Drill Sargeant.

American Sargeant:

“No rules. You fight ‘til you drop.”

Rebecca Brayton (

Sure, he did kick wholesale ass but mostly on his own time and not nearly with the same level of stakes that Yen’s IP Man endures. That said, we definitely like to think that he could have, if he’d ever been put in those situations.

Rebecca Brayton (

Number 4: IP Man 4 was Protested

Though the first three IP Man movies were each more successful than the last, the fourth and final installment became mired in controversy in its native Hong Kong prior to its release. Throughout most of 2019, many protested the potential passing of a bill that would see Hong Kong criminals extradited to mainland China, which many feared would undermine Hong Kong’s economy. Due to the pro-China stances of Raymond Wong and stars Donnie Yen and Donnie Chen, in addition to their outspokenness against the movement, many called for the boycott of the film entirely. And the dissuading of others from seeing it by posting spoilers online. While numbers in Hong Kong certainly dropped, that didn’t stop it from becoming the highest grossing film in the franchise.

Rebecca Brayton (

Number 3: This Wasn’t Donnie Yen’s First Attempt to Portray IP Man

When it came time to cast the first IP Man movie which was released in 2008, Donnie Yen was an obvious choice, particularly because he’d been cast as the Grandmaster, once before.”

Donnie Yen:

“Wing Chun. Ip Man.”

Rebecca Brayton (

Back in the late 90s, producers Jeffrey Lau and Corey Yoon got the go ahead to film a biopic based on the life of Bruce Lee’s mentor, grandmaster IP Man, starring Stephen Chow and Donnie Yen respectively. However, the film studio, Paragon Studio Films Limited, shut down shortly before filming was set to take place. Yen was even partially paid but regardless, the project was shelved indefinitely. Thankfully, when producer Raymond Wong began developing his own movie on the subject, Yen finally got his shot on the role roughly 10 years later.

Rebecca Brayton (

Number 2: Title Disputes

There have been a number of IP Man movies over the years – some more high-profile than others. As it just so happens, the 2008 project starring Donnie Yen, originally titled ‘Grandmaster IP Man,’ came into contention with another biopic on the legend – more simply titled, ‘The Grandmaster.’ The director of the latter, Wong Kar-wai took issue with the similarities and wanted the two films to be differentiated from one another. Thus, Raymond Wong shortened his film’s title simply to ‘IP Man,’ claiming it was the one he wanted all along. Turns out they, perhaps, didn’t need to worry as ‘The Grandmaster’ when through development hell and wouldn’t be released until 2013, distancing the two films by 5 years.


“I’m warning you. I’ll arrest anyone who causes trouble on my beat.”

Rebecca Brayton (

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I always find the behind-the-scenes facts increase my over-all enjoyment and appreciation for movies.

We have one more interesting tidbit to share with you, so let’s reveal the honorable mentions and then we’ll take a look at the top behind-the-scene secret from the IP Man franchise.

An abandoned storeroom was transformed into a 1930s era cotton mill.

Jackie Chan was rumored to appear in IP Man 4.

IP Man choreographer Samuel Hung took on role in sequel.

Before we continue, be sure to subscribe to our channel and ring the bell to get notified about our latest videos. You have the option to be notified for occasional videos or all of them. If you’re on your phone, make sure you go into your settings and switch on notifications.

Rebecca Brayton (

Number 1: CGI Bruce Lee

No, we weren’t joshing you earlier. Danny Chen did, in fact, play Bruce Lee in both IP Man 3 and 4. But he almost didn’t. Initially intimidated by the prospect of finding anyone who could replicate Lee’s magnetic screen presence, the makers behind IP Man 3 announced that they would instead be recreating him with CGI to get the most authentic result. This didn’t sit well with Bruce Lee Enterprises, who claimed the filmmakers did not have the rights to invest in such a gambit.

Bruce Lee actor:

“The girl won’t play back. But I will.”

Rebecca Brayton (

After being threatened with legal action, the idea was scrapped and Chen was ultimately cast. We get that Bruce Lee left some big shoes to fill, but we can’t help but feel that that would have landed somewhere in the uncanny valley.

Do you agree with our picks? Let us know in the comments. And hey, if you’re a fan of the song playing right now, be sure to check out the music video for it right here.

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