Bruce Lee is an icon and a model of mastery and success. His magnetism had transformational power single handily popularizing martial arts in the United States. His 1973 feature, Enter the Dragon, broadened the scope of martial arts practice. As an article in the Princeton Alumni Weekly notes, “Before Enter the Dragon, there were few martial arts schools in the United States; by the 1990s, 20 million Americans were studying the discipline.”
Lee is known for his Gung fu skills, and rightly so, as he began his studies in the art under the legendary Yip Man. But while Lee was a martial artist, he also had another passion. He carried a flame for acting, and that passion came earnestly. Lee is the offspring of an artist. His father Lee Hoi Chuen was not only an actor but also an opera performer. So Lee, with his father as an example, took his desires and pursued them. It became apparent that his discipline extended well beyond his ability to master the “Wing Chun style of gung fu”. He pursued acting with dogged determination, which was by no means easy, as evidenced by his fickle career in Hollywood. He landed a role in the 1966 series Green Hornet as Kato. But his roles thereafter were bit parts. And, he would not return to Hollywood in a massive manner until Enter the Dragon. However, that didn’t mean he discontinued his pursuits. During those in-between years, he continued to work, starring in The Way of the Dragon (Return of the Dragon) and Fist of Fury, produced in Hong Kong.
Lee shone in Film. He had an undeniable authenticity. It was easy to see that Lee wasn’t merely an individual portraying a master of Gung-Fu. He was a seasoned actor who dared to demonstrate his acting chops by marrying his discipline and performance art technique. Unfortunately, Lee didn’t get to finish living his dream. His career was short-lived as he died abruptly at 32 of brain swelling (cerebral edema). But despite his premature death, he had made an unforgettable mark. The posthumous acclaim garnered by Enter the Dragon earned him immortal status in the heart of many cinephiles. And over the years, at least 17 films have been made about the man, the myth, and the legend. There is good news for fans who never tire of experiencing who Lee was. Bruce Lee, an upcoming biopic, is currently in the works, and here is everything we know.
Bruce Lee Biopic
A Biopic feature on Bruce Lee is currently under development, and acclaimed filmmaker Ang Lee is helming the project. Ang Lee, who has been recognized for films Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Life of Pi, and Brokeback Mountain, sees the coming together of this project as a dream come true. He has been pursuing the fulfillment of the project for quite some time. According to Elizabeth Gabler, who is the project overseer along with Ben Everard, “Bruce Lee is a longtime passion project for Ang,”
Who’s Portraying Bruce Lee
Mason Lee, son of Ang Lee, is preparing to take on the legend. According to Deadline, Mason has undergone training for the last three years. But it is undeniable he has large shoes to fill. Some may wonder if he has the chops to carry the role, though Mason Lee is not new to the silver screen. He began his Hollywood career with a role in the 2011 comedic hit The Hangover Part II, and young Lee has since added other films to his portfolio. However, Mason’s career in film is not limited to Hollywood. Lee also has an overseas portfolio of projects in which he has carved out considerable achievement, and he has experience working with his father in film.
Bruce Lee Biopic: The Plot
There are no specific plot details, but being a biopic gives great credence to the basis of the content. As extra confirmation, we can use the words of Ang Lee himself, telling IndieWire he “felt compelled to tell the story of this brilliant, unique human being who yearned for belonging, possessed tremendous power in a 135-pound-frame, and who, through tireless hard work, made impossible dreams into reality.”
Everything Else We Know
The film is backed by Sony 3000 pictures, and the script is being written by Dan Futterman also known for his Capote screenplay. Although Ang Lee has a significant role in the production, he is being joined by other creative professionals who are on board to ensure the success and integrity of the film. As IndieWire again notes, Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter, will add her contributions along with a team of other talented producers.
There is currently no release date, as the film remains in production. However, with everything in place, it is with the hope that Ang Lee will see his dream come true. Unfortunately, earlier attempts to bring Lee’s story to life, such as The Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, didn’t fare as well. But given Ang’s determination, love for the icon, and a team of incomparable talent, fans of Lee can look forward to as Gabler detailed to Deadline “a deeply emotional story depicting the triumphs and conflicts of one of the foremost real-life action heroes of our time.”