A new Hollywood film revolving around Bruce Lee titled Birth of the Dragon will finally be making its way to theaters on August 25th. The fable-based movie will take a look at the life of legendary martial artist, using disputed bout with Master Wong Jack-Man as the centerpiece of the story.
At the helm of the project is George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) with a screenplay by Christopher Wilkinson (Ali) and Stephen J. Rivele (Nixon). Noted Hong Kong action director, Corey Yuen (Kiss of the Dragon, No Retreat, No Surrender II) has staged the film’s fight choreography.
Rising Hong Kong actor Philip Ng (Wild City, Sifu vs Vampire, Zombie Fight Club) stars as Bruce Lee. Co-stars include Yu Xia (Dragon Squad) as Wong Jack-Man, Billy Magnussen as Steve McKee, and Jinging Qu (Journey Through China), who’ll be playing Steve’s love interest.
During early screenings of Birth of the Dragon, many critics and fans were upset that the character of Bruce (Ng) took a backseat, while the “white” character of Billy (McKee) was front and center. Due to this backlash, the film’s U.S. publicist has reached out to inform SA: “The version shown at TIFF was unfinished and it has been recut. The character played by Billy is a minor character – not the lead – in this cut, which is what will be shown in theaters. The story is not told from the point of view of the fictional Steve McKee character. It focuses on Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man.”
This isn’t the first time Hollywood has explored the legend of Bruce Lee. Perhaps the most well known example is 1993’s Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, a heavily dramatized biopic from The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen that featured Jason Scott Lee (Time Cop 2) in the lead role. And let’s not forget the many Chinese productions, such as 1975’s Bruce Lee I Love You, 1976’s Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth, 1978’s The Dragon Lives and 2010’s Bruce Lee My Brother.
Updates: Added a New Clip from film, followed by the Trailer: