It seems as if the legend of folk hero, kung fu master, and Herbal Doctor Wong Fei Hong is set to be re-boot with the release of Rise of the Legend. Eddie Peng ( Tai Chi Hero) will play the young Wong Fei Hong in this modern re-boot of the character. Eddie has some big shoes to fill as Wong Fei Hong has been portrayed by some kung fu heavy hitters over the years. Let’s look at who Eddie will be ultimately compared to!
Gordon Liu ( Lau Kar Fai)
Best known for being the Shaolin Monk San Te, Gordon Liu has portrayed Wong Fei Hong in two of the most beloved Kung Fu films of the 1970’s era of classic kung fu cinema: Challenge of the Masters and Martial Club. Gordon’s Hung Gar training ( in a direct from Wong Fei Hong lineage) made him a very good Wong Fei Hong as well as the choreography and direction of the great Master Lau Kar Leung.
Jet Li and director Tsui Hark reinvented the mystique of Wong Fei Hong with the Once Upon a Time in China series of films. Jet Li’s Wushu stood out in these movies as he battled foreigners, the White Lotus Clan, arrogant close minded Kung Fu Masters, and Donnie Yen! Jet’s performance in the first three films in the series was very subtle and he portrayed a traditional Chinese Doctor and Kung Fu Master with a quiet grace that helped the popularity of the character and the series.
Wu Shu champion Zhao took over for Jet Li in the fourth and fifth installments of the Once Upon a Time in China series and portrayed Wong Fei Hong in the TV series of the same name. Zhao’s excellent Wu Shu and upright personality made him a good Wong Fei Hong and a contender in the martial arts movie world.
Kwan Tak Hing
The actor and martial artist most associated with Wong Fei Hong is no doubt Kwan Tak Hing. Kwan starred in more than 100 Wong Fei Hong serials and films and his performances as the fair and upright Kung Fu Master is the archetype that is used when Wong Fei Hong is portrayed. As a Kung Fu Master with training in styles such as Peking Opera Kung Fu, White Crane, and Hung Gar as well as skill in calligraphy and Lion Dance Kwan Sifu was the perfect actor to play Wong Fei Hong.