Mason Lee to play martial arts legend Bruce Lee in new film

Sony’s 3000 Pictures has inked a deal that will see Academy Award winner Ang Lee direct Bruce Lee, a film that will star the director’s son Mason Lee as the famed martial artist. Dan Futterman, whose credits include Capote and Foxcatcher, is working on a script that has seen previous releases by Jean Castelli, Alex Law and Mabel Cheung and, most recently, Wells Tower.

Lawrence Grey, Shannon Lee, Ang Lee, Ben Everard and Brian Bell will serve as producers on the film, with Elizabeth Gabler and Marisa Paiva overseeing the project for the studio. The project will see Gabler, Paiva and Tom Rothman reunited with the director after previously working together on Life of Pi.

New Bruce Lee film

The director, who made his mark on the martial arts genre with Best Foreign Film Oscar winner Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000 (it remains the highest-grossing international film in the U.S.) has long wanted to delve deeper into making a legendary film. Lee came to the U.S. and became an accomplished teacher to actors like Steve McQueen and many others.

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While the handsome Bruce Lee became one of the first actors of Chinese-American descent to spread primetime television when he played the allied Kato in The Green Hornet, much of his early career was marked by the frustrations he endured as a pioneer who wasn’t satisfied with little. Lee found global success in a series of blockbuster Hong Kong films. He was on the verge of a remarkable breakthrough in the American market with Enter the Dragon, dying 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 combat scientist and an iconic performance artist who revolutionized both martial arts and action cinema,” Ang Lee told Deadline.

“I feel compelled to tell the story of this brilliant and unique human being, who yearned to belong, possessed extraordinary strength, and through tireless work turned impossible dreams into reality.”

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