Magazine article Variety

'Dragon' Hopes to Ride Legend of Lee around the World

Magazine article Variety

'Dragon' Hopes to Ride Legend of Lee around the World

Article excerpt

MARTIAL ARTS

"BIRTH OF THE DRAGON" - a story about Bruce Lee's emergence as a martial-arts superstar and his epic showdown with another Kung Fu master - has its world premiere Tuesday in Toronto. Producer Michael London ("Trumbo") and director George Nolfi ("The Adjustment Bureau") talked about the enduring popularity of Lee and the reasons they believe their film, featuring a cast laden with Chinese stars, could become a cross-cultural phenomenon.

Bruce Lee died in 1973 at age 32. Why will audiences in 2016 respond to a character from the last century?

LONDON: "Bruce Lee is this iconic figure who represents a sort of meeting of East and West. We are at this really extraordinary moment in history right now, with China opening up to the West and the West becoming fascinated with China. Bruce Lee's myth endures and it feels like the world will be really open to learning about how he became the mythic figure that he did."

How did you know that passion for Lee remained high?

NOLFI: "There is not a single place - in China, or the U.S., or Canada or the rest of the world - that people don't know his name or have an enormous affection for him and for his story. ... He did something that was thought impossible in the early 1960s - to be an Asian man who became this major star in the West. And I would say that he remains the most famous martial artist of all time and, at the same time, the most famous Asian person in the West."

The film centers on a fight between Lee and Wong Jack Man that occurred in the mid-1960s in the San Francisco Bay Area. …

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