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Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild - Directors - Wo Ping YUEN
袁和平 | YUEN Wo Ping

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Yuen Wo-ping, known as “Uncle Eight” among his peers, was born in Guangzhou but has family roots in Beijing. His father is famed martial arts actor and action choreographer Simon Yuen Siu-tien, who taught him the trade at an early age, finding work for him as extra and martial arts performer since his teenage years. The younger Yuen became action choreographer in 1971 with The Mad Killer, followed by films such as The Bloody Fists (1972), The Lizard (1972) and The Bastards (1973).

Thanks to filmmaker Ng See-yuen’s recognition of his talent, Yuen directed his first film, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978), starring Jackie Chan, who had been toiling in the industry without much success. The film proved to be a breakthrough for both Yuen and Chan, leading them to team up again for Drunken Master (1978) — another massive hit that made them household names in Hong Kong and earned them international recognition. Yuen closed the decade with two other kung-fu films, The Magnificent Butcher (1979) and Dance of the Drunk Mantis (1979). The 1980s that followed was a prolific decade for Yeun, a time when he directed ten action films, including Dreadnought (1980), The Miracle Fighters (1982), Legend of a Fighter (1982), Shaolin Drunkard (1983), Drunken Tai Chi (1984), Mismatched Couples (1985), The Close Encounter of Vampire (1986), Tiger Cage (1988) and In The Line of Duty 4 (1984). The intriguing depiction of maoshan sorcery, a popular element in Chinese mythic beliefs, puts The Miracle Fighters among one of his most beloved classics. He continued to work as both director and choreographer throughout his long and eventful career. Yuen and his brothers Yuen Shun-yi, Yuen Cheung-yan, Yuen Yat-choh and Yuen Chun-yeung were known collectively as “The Yuen Clan” — an acclaimed team of martial arts performers who, together with Lau Kar-leung’s “Lau Clan,” Sammo Hung’s “Hung Clan,” Jackie Chan’s “Chan Clan,” and Tong Gai’s “Tong Clan”, were the pillars of action choreography in Hong Kong cinema. His brothers had also forged distinguished individual careers as actors, directors and action directors. In the 1990s, Yuen continued his path as an action director and was responsible for Tiger Cage III (1991), Iron Monkey (1993), Heroes Among Heroes (1993), The Tai-Chi Master (1993), Fire Dragon (1994), Wing Chun (1994) and Tai-Chi II (1996).

In the late 1990s, Yuen made a leap to Hollywood and became the action choreographer for the wildly successful sci-fi thriller The Matrix (1999). Since then, he has become the go-to guy for Hollywood productions with an ambition for martial arts effects. Yuen also served as action director for Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and Tsui Hark’s The Legend of Zu (2001). Other films he choreographed include Black Mask 2: City of Masks (2002), The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and Kill Bill (2003). Currently, he is preparing for the production of a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Year Chinese name English name Directors
2010 《蘇乞兒》
True Legend
1996 《太極拳》
Tai Chi II CHEUNG Sing Yim
1996 《太極拳》
Tai-Chi II
1995 《虎猛威龍》
The Red-Wolf
1994 《火雲傳奇》
Fire Dragon
1994 《詠春》
Wing Chun
1993 《少年黃飛鴻之鐵馬騮》
Iron Monkey
1993 《蘇乞兒》
Heroes Among Heroes
1993 《太極張三豐》
The Tai-Chi Master
1991 《冷面狙擊手》
Tiger Cage III
1990 《洗黑錢》
Tiger Cage II
1989 《皇家師姐IV 直擊證人》
In The Line of Duty 4
1988 《特警屠龍》
Tiger Cage
1986 《精靈寶寶》
The Close Encounter of the Vampire LEUNG Ka Yan Bryan
1986 《殭屍怕怕》
The Close Encounter of Vampire
1985 《情逢敵手》
Mismatched Couples
1984 《笑太極》
Drunken Tai Chi
1983 《天師撞邪》
Shaolin Drunkard
1982 《奇門遁甲》
The Miracle Fighters
1982 《霍元甲》
Legend of a Fighter
1981 《勇者無懼》
1980 《佛掌羅漢拳》
The Buddhist Fist
1979 《林世榮》
The Magnificent Butcher
1979 《南北醉拳》
Dance of the Drunk Mantis
1978 《蛇形刁手》
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow
1978 《醉拳》
Drunken Master