Author, screenwriter and filmmaker Xu Haofeng came full circle late last year with his newest martial arts drama, The Master. In it, the film sees actor Liao Fan in a role inspired primarily by one of three stories of Xu’s 2013 anthology, “Hiding Behind The Blade” – the first two being The Sword Identity in 2011 and 2014’s Arrow Arbitration (a.k.a. Judge Archer).
Despite Xu’s credentials and publicity here, both films have remained largely obscure in their respective roll-outs at the time, thus making The Master something to truly appreciate nowadays, and not for nothing either. Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Assassin dominated Taipei’s 52nd Annual Golden Horse Awards back in December, while not counting out a handful of other titles for their acclaim, including The Master, which earned an award of its own for Best Action Choreography.
All in all, The Master defines itself among others as a film to take heed to if you’re into the genre, bearing in mind the attentiveness of some Asian cinema distributors now seeing potential in expanding to audiences overseas. Such is now the case with United Entertainment Partners who will be releasing the film in 2016 – rebranded as The Final Master, and they’ve since begun the process of campaigning with a new trailer of their own with a date soon to be announced.
The Final Master is a martial arts film set in a transformational time period in China before World War II. Based on director Xu Haofeng’s best selling novel, The Final Master follows a Wing Chun practitioner’s adventure to open a martial arts school in the northern center to fulfill his master’s death wish. He has to secretly challenge eight martial arts schools with his apprentice, but he does not realize he’s been turned into a chess piece within the power game in the martial arts community at the end of an era.
There’s no word yet on whether or not their acquisition is limited strictly to the U.S. for release. We’ll learn as we go, it seems, but take a look at the English-subbed trailer just beneath, and feel free to check out a behind-the-scenes featurette from late last year as well.
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