Without a doubt, one of the greatest action stars to ever grace the big screen is Bruce Lee. Now it seems his story is getting another chance to reach audiences. Deadline is reporting that Sony has finalized a deal with two-time Academy Award winner Ang Lee to direct an upcoming biopic titled Bruce Lee, with the director’s son Mason Lee set to star.
Bruce Lee is largely considered to be one of, if not the, most influential martial artists in the modern era. Within the world of entertainment, he is known for both his roles in American television and in Hong Kong martial arts films. Lee was one of the first Chinese-Americans to get a chance to star in a primetime TV show and starred as Kato in The Green Hornet. He then went on to star in a number of popular Hong Kong action movies like Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon. Unfortunately, he passed away suddenly in 1973 just as his career in the U.S. film industry was about to take off. Despite his early passing, his legacy is one of bringing martial arts and the Hong Kong film industry to the forefront for Western audiences. His life story was also previously told in the 1993 biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.
Ang Lee is a perfect director to tell Bruce Lee’s story. Ang not only has experience filming martial arts scenes with his critically acclaimed and award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but also has experience filming the more personal and emotional scenes that will come from telling Bruce’s story with acclaimed films like Brokeback Mountain and Sense and Sensibility. He also obviously has a previous relationship with the star, his son, Mason Lee. The actor has reportedly been training to play Bruce Lee for years, dedicating his time during the lock downs of the pandemic to getting in peak physical shape. His previous acting credits include Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, The Hangover Part II, Lucy, and the recent Taiwanese romantic comedy Stand By Me.
About getting to tell Bruce Lee’s story, Ang Lee told Deadline:
“Accepted as neither fully American nor fully Chinese, Bruce Lee was a bridge between East and West who introduced Chinese Kung Fu to the world, a scientist of combat and an iconic performing artist who revolutionized both the martial arts and action cinema. I feel 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.”
The biopic will be written by two-time Academy Award-nominated writer Dan Futterman. He is also a great pick to write the film as he has proven experience in writing biopics and films based on true stories. His two nominations come from his work on Capote and Foxcatcher. Producers on the film will include Lawrence Grey, Shannon Lee, Ang Lee, Ben Everard, and Brian Bell. Elizabeth Gabler, who is overseeing the film for Sony, is quoted as saying about the project:
“Bruce Lee is a longtime passion project for Ang and a deeply emotional story depicting the triumphs and conflicts of one of the foremost real-life action heroes of our time. All of us at Sony and 3000 Pictures are proud to help Ang and his filmmaking team create what we believe will be an extraordinary theatrical event.”
Stay tuned to Collider for any future updates on this upcoming project.