A biopic of martial arts legend Bruce Lee is currently in the works from the acclaimed filmmaker Ang Lee.
Ang, whose movies include Brokeback Mountain and Life Of Pi, has cast his own son Mason in the lead role, according to Deadline.
The latest pass on the script will be by Dan Futterman, who rose to fame as an actor in The Birdcage before writing such films as Capote and Foxcatcher.
At present the screenplay has gone through several versions, including one by Jean-Christophe Castelli, who wrote Ang’s 2016 movie Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
Icon: A biopic of martial arts legend Bruce Lee is currently in the works from the acclaimed filmmaker Ang Lee; the late action star is pictured in Enter The Dragon, released in 1973
Another pass was by the team of Alex Law and Mabel Cheung, whose work includes the Hong Kong films The Illegal Immigrant and Echoes Of The Rainbow.
The most recent version was by Wells Tower, whose script Pain Hustlers has been bought by Netflix to be made into a film starring Emily Blunt.
Bruce Lee had a foot in both America and Hong Kong from the start, born in San Francisco to a Cantonese opera star and his wife who were stateside on tour- before his tragic death aged just 32.
Father and son: Ang (right), whose movies include Brokeback Mountain and Life Of Pi, has cast his own son Mason (left) in the lead role; they are pictured together in 2012
He achieved stratospheric stardom in martial arts pictures in the 1960s and 1970s, starring in movies in both Hong Kong and Hollywood.
His crossover triumphs included Enter The Dragon, Fist Of Fury and The Game Of Death as well as Way Of The Dragon, which he wrote and directed himself.
The massive success of his work revolutionized action movies and went a long way to popularizing Asian martial arts in the west.
Bruce went on to teach martial arts to other American celebrities ranging from Steve McQueen to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Tragic end: He achieved stratospheric stardom in martial arts pictures in the 1960s and 1970s, starring in movies in both Hong Kong and Hollywood before his mysterious death aged 32
However his career was shockingly cut short when he mysteriously died in Hong Kong in 1973 at the age of 32 – shortly before Enter The Dragon was released.
Although the coroner cited cerebral edema, it has never been definitively established what caused the excess fluid to gather around his brain.
‘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,’ said Ang Lee, who is himself from Taiwan.
‘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.’
Throwback: Bruce Lee was recently played by Mike Moh in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, facing off against a stuntman played by Brad Pitt
Bruce Lee was recently played by Mike Moh in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood – a portrayal slammed by Bruce’s daughter Shannon Lee, who was four years old when her father died.
The movie depicts Bruce as a mercurial, thin-skinned and hypercompetitive diva who challenges a stuntman played by Brad Pitt to a fight and humiliatingly loses.
Amid a hue and cry about whether the portrayal was racist, Shannon denounced the movie for painting her father as an ‘arrogant a**hole who was full of hot air.’
Quentin defended his movie on The Joe Rogan Experience, saying: ‘I can understand his daughter having a problem with it. It’s her f***ing father, all right? I get that. But anybody else, go suck a***.’
He argued that Bruce was in fact ‘kind of an arrogant guy. The way he was talking, I didn’t just make a lot of that up.’
‘I’m really f**king tired of white men in Hollywood trying to tell me who Bruce Lee was,’ Shannon shot back in a furious column for The Hollywood Reporter.
‘I’m tired of hearing from white men in Hollywood that he was arrogant and an a**hole when they have no idea and cannot fathom what it might have taken to get work in 1960s and ’70s Hollywood as a Chinese man with ( God forbid) an accent, or to try to express an opinion on a set as a perceived foreigner and person of color.’
It was recently reported Kung fu legend Lee might have died from drinking too much water, doctors have claimed nearly 50 years after he passed away.
An autopsy at the time showed Bruce had died from brain swelling, which doctors blamed on him taking a painkiller.
His untimely passing sparked rumors that he may have been assassinated by Chinese gangsters, poisoned by a jealous lover, or the victim of a curse. Another theory was that he died from heatstroke.
Now, researchers have reviewed the evidence to rule that Bruce actually likely died of hyponatraemia.
‘In other words, we propose that the kidney’s inability to excrete excess water killed Bruce Lee,’ the team of experts wrote in the Clinical Kidney Journal.
Hyponatremia means the sodium level in blood — which your body needs for fluid balance — is abnormally low.
An imbalance causes cells in the body to swell, including ones in the brain.
The study claims Bruce had multiple risk factors for hyponatraemia, including that he was drinking high quantities of liquid, using cannabis — which increases thirst — as well as other factors that decrease the ability of the kidneys, such as the use of prescription drugs and alcohol .
His wife Linda revealed how Bruce had a fluid-based diet of carrot and apple juice in the run-up to his death.
Speaking out: The controversial portrayal in Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood was slammed by Bruce’s daughter Shannon Lee, who was four years old when her father died