Earlier this year it was announced that there will be an official Bruce Lee biopic called Little Dragon with Shekhar Kapur(Elizabeth) set to direct the movie. Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee, who runs Bruce Lee Entertainment, has co-scripted the project with Kapur.Set in 1950’s Hong Kong, the movie follows a young Bruce Lee as he comes to terms with his family’s disappointment, young love, betrayal and racism in the early years of his international career.
This week comes the announcement that the bio-pic will be take place in Penang and Pinewood Iskandar studios in Malaysia. Lee has deemed Penang to be the perfect setting to recreate Hong Kong in the 1950’s:
“We will be trying to replicate the 1950s era in Hong Kong. A portion of the film will be filmed in Penang before we head to Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia studios in Johor Baru and then to Foshan, China to film the rest of the movie. Much of the buildings in Penang are perfect for our film”
This will be the first official biopic based on the martial art star, unlike the others including one produced by Bruce Lee’s brother. Those unofficial movies quickly came with controversy and were denounced by the late star’s daughter. The 2016 film Birth Of The Dragon portrayed the martial art star as little more than a white guy’s sidekick which Shannon said was “inaccurate and insulting”. The 2010 Bruce Lee, My Brother, produced by Bruce Lee’s brother Robert Lee, was almost never released when Shannon got involved, reportedly serving him and film companies legal letters. Robert said he tried to get Shannon involved but she stayed out of the project, and this was eventually settled out of court.For decades, the ownership of Lee’s story has been the centre of disputes among family members. Bruce Lee’s widow, Linda Cadwell, their late son, Brandon (who was shot dead in 1993 while filming The Crow) and Shannon claimed successor-in interest rights in 1985. Cadwell and Shannon had subsequently maintained control over the use of Lee’s name, images and related materials through the Bruce Lee Enterprises since 2008.
According to his daughter, filming on Little Dragon will begin between September and November of this year. More than 5,000 people have auditioned for the role of 17-18-year-old Bruce Lee, and so far four people have been shortlisted for the role.
LITTLE DRAGON is due out in 2018.