Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Two Indian directors with competing biopics of Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee's life story will be made into a movie.

NOT ONE, but two film projects are apparently underway about the late legendary Bruce Lee.

One of the new movies about Lee, perhaps the most famous martial artists in history, has the stamp of approval from his family and involves his daughter Shannon. 

Shannon Lee wrote the screenplay with filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, who will also act as executive producer and director. Kapur, one of India's best known direcors, who directed  Elizabeth: The Golden Age about Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain.

“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 Shannon Lee. “I’m really excited that Shekhar will breathe life into the first film from Bruce Lee Entertainment.”


Khekhar Kapur
“It is important that audiences today can relate their own lives to the journey of Bruce Lee, who manages to tap into his inner wisdom and harness his true destiny before it was too late,” said Kapur in a prepared statement. He picks up after completing duties on TNT’s highly anticipated 10-part television series “Will,” on which he is executive producer and co-director.

According to a press release, the movie, with the working title of 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."

Casting director Mary Vernieu is on hunt for suitable actors for various characters in the film for which regular shooting is expected to begin from July in Malaysia. Her biggest challenge will to find the actor who could command the charisma of the cult figure Bruce Lee.


Financing for the film is from Chinese production companies.

Lee's death at the age of 32 before his greatest movie, Enter The Dragon premiered, magnified the tragedy and propelled his life story into the stuff of legend because of the unfulfilled promise it represented.

The second film project is headed by a super fan from India, movie director Ram Gopal Verma, who may be as controversial as some of his popular Bollywood productions. He's known for making movies on time and under budget. 

Ram Gopal Verma
Verma announced that he will also do a Bruce Lee biopic on late legendry actor Bruce Lee and release it on the same date of his film Little Dragon.

Verma claimed that only he can do justice to Lee’s biopic as he knows tremendously more about Bruce Lee than Lee's daughter, his wife Linda Lee and Shekhar Kapur.

Ram Gopal Varma took to his Twitter account on Monday to share the news about his biopic of Bruce Lee. The filmmaker tweeted: “Just because of my devotional worship of Bruce Lee I am going to make his biopic and release it same time as Shekar kapur’s authorised one.”


Verma, however, made clear to the Indian Express that he had nothing against “Shekar Kapur who I admire immensely but it’s just my obsessive fascination for Bruce Lee.” “In spite of the closeness of family and brilliance of @shekharkapur I believe only I can do justice to do his biopic.”


When he released a trailer (See below.) for his Bruce Lee in 2015, he said that he had joined a martial arts school when Enter The Dragon had released. “I used to cycle nearly seven kilometres to a theatre to watch this film. I saw it 17 times and Return Of The Dragon 23 times,” said RGV, adding, “I always wanted to make a film on my understanding of what made Bruce Lee such an influence and I finally wrote a script to justify this ambition of mine.”




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