BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- Taiwan actor Eddie Peng, who is set to take on the role of martial-arts legend Wong Fei-hung in a new film, says he is not afraid to be compared with previous actors, including Jet Li.
The film "Rise of the Legend" is the latest film on Wong Fei-hung (1847-1924), who has inspired over 100 films and TV works since the 1940s. The best-known are director Tsui Hark's 1990s series "Once Upon a Time in China" starring Jet Li.
"Jet Li's version is classic. I never thought about playing the role better; I only think about playing it my way," Peng told reporters on Tuesday, while attending a press junket held to announce the start of filming in Wuzhen of eastern China's Zhejiang Province.
To prepare for the role, Peng practiced 10 hours of martial arts every day. "Actually I'm keen on learning martial arts. My teacher often tells me that my long legs and arms are a natural gift for learning martial arts," said the 6-feet-tall actor.
Peng proved his talent in action roles with the successes of the films "Unbeatable", in which he plays a boxer, and "Jump Ashin!" in which he portrays a gymnast.
He was nominated for Best Actor for his role in "Jump Ashin!" at the 2011 Taiwan Golden Horse Awards.
In "Rise of the Legend", Peng will star alongside Jing Boran, Sammo Hung and Angelababy.
The film is being directed by Chow Hin-yeung, who says the film will focus on Wong Fei-hung's early years. "I aim to portray the legendary character from a different angle - a young man with a dream. His dream is the only thing that holds him together," the director was quoted by Variety.com as saying.
"Rise of the Legend" is slated for release in the second half of 2014.