Young Bruce Lee biopic to begin shooting this summer

'Little Dragon,' directed by Shekhar Kapur, will examine the legendary martial artist's teenage years.

Little Dragon, a new movie about the early life of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, is set to start shooting this summer. Directed and co-written by acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, backed by Chinese investors, and authorized by Bruce Lee's family, the biopic will examine Lee's tumultuous teenage years in 1950s Hong Kong.

Young Bruce Lee Film 'Little Dragon' to Begin Shooting This Summer

According to producers, the film will follow a young Lee as he contends with "his family's disappointment, young love, true friendship, betrayal, racism, deep hardship and the inner fire that threatens to unravel his destiny."

An official U.S.-China co-production, Little Dragon be co-written and produced by Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee, who says the film will offer a look at the formative, early years that shaped her father's life before he became a movie star, international icon and arguably the most famous martial arts practitioner of all time.

"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," Shannon Lee said in a statement.

Ip Man and Bruce Lee

This Bruce Lee movie not to be confused with that other Bruce Lee movie, the already-completed Birth of the Dragon. That one's directed George Nolfi and stars Phillip Ng, and depicts a super-fictionalized dramatization of Lee's most famous fight with Wong Jack Man. The film has already received considerable negative attention because the story is apparently told through the eyes of some white dude. No thanks.

There have already been a number of Bruce biopics over the years, of varying quality, originating from both Hollywood and abroad. But with direct involvement from Lee's family and the prestige of a director like Kapur, Little Dragon will likely be a very different spin on the unique life of Bruce Lee.

"The film will be a contemporary take on Bruce Lee who, aside from being considered the most gifted and famous martial artist of all time, is now accepted as a major philosopher in his own right," Kapur said in a statement. "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's too late."

Tim Kwok of Convergence Entertainment will also produce Little Dragon. Yu-San Yu, Allen Tan, Leo Zheng and Jeff Chao, along with Kapur, will serve as executive producers. The project is currently in preproduction and is set to start shooting this summer in China and Malaysia.

One last, very important question: who will play Bruce Lee? Veterain Hollywood casting director Mary Vernieu is currently conducting a worldwide search to find the actor to play the young Bruce Lee. Stay tuned.

More here: Shekhar Kapur to Direct Authorized Bruce Lee Biopic 'Little Dragon'

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