Hong Kong actor Donnie Yen is best known for his martial arts films, particularly the "Ip Man" franchise, in which he stars as the titular character.
However, Yen recently revealed that the fourth instalment of the famous series -- the culmination of a franchise based on real life Wing Chun master Ip Man -- will also be his final kungfu film.
"I must keep exploring to grow"
On Nov. 27, the 56-year-old confirmed this at a press conference to promote "Ip Man 4: The Finale" in Beijing, China, likely dismaying fans around the world.
Yen stated that the kungfu movies he had filmed "are around the same", reported China Press.
The martial arts superstar cited his need to continue growing and developing as a actor, by trying out alternative genres of films.
“As an actor, you must keep going forward," Yen said. "This is something that I must do in life, I must keep exploring to grow.”
He shared that before starring in the first "Ip Man" movie, people questioned how he was going to play such a critical role.
But now that Yen is thinking of moving on, reactions have switched to wondering how he would move on and distance himself from the character he has come to define.
Grateful for fan support
Despite his impending departure, Yen remains proud and grateful for the positive reactions the "Ip Man" series has garnered from audiences.
He commented that movies typically did not have so more than two sequels, as these "tend to go downhill by the third film".
Yen pointed out though, that the first three Ip Man movies were beloved by everyone, and stated that he "believe[s] people won’t be disappointed this time either."
Ip Man 4
The final Ip Man film will focus on the character's journey to San Francisco in the 1960s.
The ageing martial arts master has to appease the local martial arts community after his protege, Bruce Lee, sets up his own martial arts school.
Yen will also be arriving in Singapore on Dec. 9, 2019 to conduct a fan meet at Our Tampines Hub.
There, he will unveil a new Ip Man pavilion, where fans can view and enjoy set pieces from the previous three movies, such as Yen's iconic wooden training dummy.
"Ip Man 4: The Finale" will open in cinemas on Dec. 20.
Top photo from One Room With a View