Ang Lee, the Oscar-winning director of “Life of Pi” and “Brokeback Mountain,” is set to direct a film about Chinese American martial arts legend Bruce Lee.
Ang Lee’s son Mason Lee is attached to star in the film, which is in development at Sony’s 3000 Pictures. Dan Futterman, who wrote “Capote” and “Foxcatcher,” is adapting the script. Jean Castelli, Alex Law and Mabel Cheung and Wells Tower wrote earlier versions of the screenplay.
Bruce Lee, who died in 1973 at the age of 32, had a brief but lasting presence in Hollywood as an actor, director and martial arts expert. His films, including “Fist of Fury,” “Enter the Dragon” and “The Way of the Dragon,” as well as the TV series “The Green Hornet,” popularized martial arts across the globe in the late 1960s and early ’70s.
“Accepted as neither fully American nor Fully Chinese, Bruce Lee was a bridge between East and West who introduced Chinese Gung Fu to the world, a scientist of combat and an iconic performing artist who revolutionized both the martial arts and action cinema,” Ang Lee said in a statement. “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.”
Lawrence Grey, Shannon Lee, Ang Lee, Ben Everard, and Brian Bell will serve as producers. Elizabeth Gabler and Marisa Paiva are overseeing the project for the studio. The still-untitled film reunites Lee with Gabler, Paiva and Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman after working together on 2012’s Oscar-winning adventure drama “Life of Pi.”
“’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.”
A decorated filmmaker, Ang Lee’s movies have scored at the box office in addition to collecting several Academy Awards: including four for “Life of Pi,” three for “Brokeback Mountain” and two for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” His other credits include “Sense and Sensibility,” “Hulk,” “Lust” and “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.”
Mason Lee, who is 32, has appeared in “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” and “The Hangover Part II.” He most recently starred in the Taiwanese romantic comedy “Stand By Me,” Hong Kong drama “Limbo” and “Who Killed Cock Robin.”
Ang Lee is repped by CAA, Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham and Slate PR. Futterman is repped by UTA and attorneys Frankfurt Kurnit. Grey Matter is represented by UTA and attorney Jamie Feldman at Lichter Grossman.
Deadline Hollywood first reported the news of Bruce Lee’s forthcoming biopic.