By Mirembe Martina
A film about martial arts legend, Bruce Lee is in the works and will soon be released.
The movie will concentrate on Bruce Lee’s 1965 fight in Oakland against Chinese Kung Fu master, Wong Jack Man which was his last fight in his career. For years, speculation about what really happened in the gym has been going around and movie seeks to satisfy the public’s curiosity about what happened.
“Birth of the Dragon” will be produced by QED International and Groundwell Productions and at the moment, they are in the process of developing a screen play. Bruce Lee died in 1973. “We’re actually not trying to re-tell the story of Bruce Lee,” Groundswell CEO Michael London said. “I think that’s a natural impression people might get. The idea, actually, is to take that battle, which has been so mysterious and so powerful and so interesting to so many, and tell the lead-up to that story, which is Wong Jack Man’s arrival in San Francisco. We’ve created a back story. There is a lot people that know about why Wong Jack Man came to San Francisco, but we’re trying to create a dramatically satisfying story about why he’s there. So we’re taking license. That’s why we say it’s going to be inspired by that fight and isn’t a literal telling of it.”
The movie is going to be written by Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen Rivele. London believes Jack Man was trying to help Lee to become the best version of himself and was trying to teach Lee lessons. A few people attended the fight and the movie will be shown through their eyes. Among them was Lee’s wife, Linda, who was eight months pregnant at the time with the couple’s son, Brandon.
“There will be a slightly stylized quality to the actual fight sequences,” London said. “That will allow different people who were there to come away with differing conclusions of what happened. … The whole idea is that the 13 people who saw that fight came away with very differing ideas of what happened. The fight itself will be impressionistic.”
Although Jack Man is reclusive, London said producers will approach him after finishing the screenplay.
Lee’s daughter, Shannon, who runs the Bruce Lee Foundation talked about the most significant fight in her father’s life saying, “It was a pivotal moment in his life because he was very disappointed after the fight,” Shannon Lee said. “Happy that he won, obviously, and happy he won the right to teach whoever he saw fit is what the challenge was over, the fact that he was teaching non-Chinese people the art of kung fu. “He was very upset and my Mom said he was sitting outside and had his head in his hands. He told her that he felt the fight had gone on a lot longer than he thought it should and he felt tired and winded from having to run to chase [Jack Man]. He felt his training had let him down. … He thought it should have been over a lot faster, and it was really from that he started to change his whole thinking on martial arts.”