…and the wait continues. Wong Kar-Wai's "The Grandmaster" continues to build with all the mystery and delays of a Terrence Malick-worthy production. Not much has been seen of the film save for a few stills and a recently released teaser trailer (that is almost identical to one we saw last year). And as we figured, any chances of the movie showing up at Cannes are a pipe dream.
In December, Yu Dong, CEO of Chinese film distributor Bona Film, told Film Business Asia that "The Grandmaster" — at one time tentatively slated to hit theaters at the end of 2011 — "will be released some time between next summer and Christmas 2012." But it looks like the tail end of that date has become the best case scenario. Bona Film recently released their 2011 data and results to investors, and as they laid out their projections for earnings in 2012, business site Benziga notes that there has been a "reshuffle" of release dates for their top tier films: " 'The Grandmaster' from Wong Kar-Wai and 'Once Upon a Time in Shanghai' starring Chow Yun-fat were pushed back to Dec '12, with some originally planned titles to be delayed into 2013."
It should be noted that the film is currently without a U.S. distributor, with Annapurna Pictures holding the rights but having yet to strike a deal for someone to partner with them to get the movie into theaters. So at this point, you can pretty much take "The Grandmaster" out of your plans for 2012, barring some kind of festival appearance this fall (at the earliest). But even then, that would be contingent on WKW having his film completely finished months ahead of the movie's Chinese release date, which seems fairly unlikely given his tendency to keep fine tuning until the last moment. Also, pretty much every WKW film to date has opened overseas before landing in the United States, so it's likely we're not seeing this until 2013.