New Bruce Lee Flick Birth of the Dragon Will Pit Bruce Lee Against the Chinese Triads

Bruce Lee

So this isn’t really an origins story, right? As in, something based on fact, and nothing but fact? From the sounds of it, it’s a sorta, kinda factual origins story that gets a tad, er, creative license-y as it goes on. But hey, I could be wrong.

Screenwriters Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen Rivele, who have a history of writing true bio pics about famous people (they count “Ali” and “Nixon” among their credits), have been hired by QED International and Groundswell Productions to pen a new film based on the early life of Bruce Lee to be called “Birth of the Dragon”.

So what’s the angle this time? Says Heat Vision:

Dragon, according to QED and Groundswell, is inspired by the true-life duel between Lee and Wong Jack Man, who was China’s most famous Kung Fu Master. The no-rules fight took place in San Francisco in 1965, when the city’s Chinatown was controlled by Hong Kong Triads. The writers are using this true event as a jumping-off point for a wider canvas action movie in which Wong and Lee team up to battle a band of Chinatown gangsters.

I could be wrong, but it sounds like they’ll be using a single, real event in Bruce Lee’s life (the events of which are greatly disputed, depending on who you ask) and blowing it up into a full-scale martial arts flick pitting Lee and Wong Jack Man against Chinese gangsters.

The thing is, that could work — as long as they make it clear this isn’t a “true story”, but more of a “what if” take on the legendary martial artist’s life. I think most fans of Lee could swallow that and even enjoy a kung fu movie made in the spirit of Bruce Lee.

Hong Kong has done plenty of Bruce Lee movies since his death, but I think the only Hollywood film to ever tell his tale was 1993’s “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” starring Jason Scott Lee (no relation). Bruce also fought Wong Jack Man in that one, too, though I don’t recall the Triads being involved.