George Nolfi’s Birth of the Dragon, a fable-based movie about Bruce Lee (portrayed by Wild City’s Philip Ng), will finally be making its way to theaters on August 25th – but Bruce Lee better watch out, because Bruce Lee is coming for him… (wait, what?!)
Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, is currently location scouting in Penang, Malaysia for Little Dragon, which will start shooting in September. According to MMO, a major portion of Little Dragon will be shot there. “We are looking for sites to replicate the 1950s period in Hong Kong when my father was growing up,” Shannon stated at a news conference.
The same source adds that 5,000 people around the world have auditioned for the role of a 17 to 18-year-old Bruce Lee – one of the four shortlisted is a Malaysian actor.
Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, who helmed Elizabeth (1998) and New York, I Love You (2008), will be directing/co-writing Little Dragon, which is being produced/co-written by Bruce Lee Entertainment, the company operated by Shannon, making the film an official, authorized biopic of martial arts legend Bruce Lee.
According to Variety, Little Dragon is a contemporary dramatization of the 1950s Hong Kong social and political forces that shaped Bruce Lee into both the most famous martial arts star of all time and a significant modern day philosopher. Themes include family disappointment, young love, true friendship, betrayal, racism, deep poverty and an inner fire that threatened to unravel his destiny.
“I always thought that a film about how my father’s life was shaped in his early years in Hong Kong would be a worthwhile story to share so we could better understand him as a human being and a warrior,” said Lee. “I’m really excited that Shekhar will breathe life into the first film from Bruce Lee Entertainment.”
Bruce Lee Entertainment has also enlisted Oscar award-winning composer, AR Rahman, to compose the film’s soundtrack (via CN). Rahman is known for his work on Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours and Million Dollar Arm.
Little Dragon will be just one of the many films centering on the life of Bruce Lee. During the 70s, a string of biopics were made that included 1974’s Dragon Story and 1976’s Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth (both starring Ho Chung Tao); in 1993 came Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (starring Jason Scott Lee); in 2010, Bruce Lee My Brother (starring Aarif Lee) was produced with the full support of Bruce’s brother, Robert Lee (Lady Killer); and most recently, Birth of the Dragon (starring Philip Ng), a soon-to-be-released, fable-based movie that focused on Lee’s disputed bout with Master Wong Jack-Man was completed.
Little Dragon is expected to be released in late 2018. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more. In the meantime, here’s the Trailer for Birth of the Dragon, which opens August 25th: