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Ang Lee to Direct Son Mason Lee in Bruce Lee Biopic at Sony’s 3000 Pictures

Ang Lee has signed on to direct Bruce Lee, a biopic about the eponymous legendary martial arts legend, for Sony’s 3000 Pictures. The Oscar-winning filmmaker will work with his son, Mason Lee, who has been cast in the titular role, Deadline is reporting.

Dan Futterman, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the 2014 sports biopic, Foxcatcher, is currently working on the script for Bruce Lee. Previous versions of the screenplay were penned by Jean Castelli, Alex Law and Mabel Cheung, and, most recently, Wells Tower.

Lawrence Grey, Shannon Lee, Ang Lee, Ben Everard and Brian Bell are producing the upcoming movie, and Elizabeth Gabler and Marisa Paiva are overseeing the project for the studio. The project will reunite Gabler, Paiva and Tom Rothman with the director after they previously worked together on Life of Pi, which won the helmer his Oscar for Best Director.

Ang Lee previously garnered attention in the martial arts genre with 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. It also remains the highest-grossing international movie in the U.S.

The filmmaker has long wanted to delve create a making-of-a-legend tale for the screen. After arriving in the U.S., he became an accomplished teacher to a diverse group of actors, including Steve McQueen. While teaching his students and making movies throughout his career, he has mixed the best qualities of all kinds of styles that he melded into Jeet Kune Do.

Lee became one of the first Chinese-American actors to work on primetime television, when he played the sidekick Kato in The Green Hornet. But much of his early career was marked by the frustrations he endured as a trailblazer who didn’t want to just remain a sidekick.

The setbacks in his career include when white actor David Carradine was cast to play the Chinese monk in Kung Fu over Lee in 1972. At the time, television executives thought audiences weren’t ready for a series led by an Asian actor.

But Lee later found global success in a series of successful Hong Kong films. He was poised to become make a breakthrough in the U.S. with the martial arts movie, Enter the Dragon. However, he died suddenly at the age of 32 just before the film was released in 1973.

: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,” Ang Lee told Deadline. :”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.”

Lee has been working quietly on the biopic for a long time, including help  his son ready for action. Mason Lee has been training for his portrayal of Lee in Asia over the past three years, throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

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,” Gabler said. “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.”

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

Karen Benardello
Karen Benardellohttps://cinemadailyus.com
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.

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