In wake of the 45th anniversary of late martial artist, actor and filmmaker Bruce Lee’s untimely death in 1973, word is brewing once more of the long off-and-on talked about potential remake of the action classic, Enter The Dragon. As Mike Fleming Jr. at Deadline noted on Monday, Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde helmer David Leitch is now circling the remake of the Warner Bros. classic, for which the search for a writer has also commenced.
Lee had only done a handful of films in Asia by the time Enter The Dragon came around, joining him with director Robert Clouse and an eclectic cast that listed John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Ahna Capri, Betty Chung, Shih Kien and Bolo Yeung, with cameos by Pat E. Johnson and fellow martial arts star Angela Mao. The film premiered several days after Lee’s death, sparking a global phenomenon that would spawn a legacy of Asian film stardom from Bruceploitation movies to the evolution of martial arts cinema itself by way of legends like Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung.
Leitch, who made his co-directing debut with Chad Stahelski on 2014 hit film, John Wick, is next helming the Fast And Furious spin-off that currently has Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Kirby and Idris Elba headlining for a July 26, 2019 release from Universal. His name also marks as one of several directors who’ve circled hopeful remakes of their own, including Kurt Sutter and Brett Ratner.
As for who will play the iconic role of the Shaolin martial artist who, despite the oath he took from his master, sets out for a chance opportunity to compete in an island tournament to bring down an elusive crime boss, that remains to be seen; Names like Jason Scott Lee, Donnie Yen, Aarif Lee, Danny Chan, Taimak and Phillip Ng pop up when pondering actors who have portrayed either Bruce or his personas in recent memory with actor Mike Moh being the latest to do so in Quentin Tarantino’s new crime drama, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
And so the question goes: Which actor will be able to carry the torch left by one of the most memorable and celebrated film roles in movie history, let alone martial arts cinema history? It’s a question that also remains to be answered as Lee’s own daughter, Shannon Lee of Bruce Lee Enterprises, readies her own biopic about her father with director Shekhar Kapur at the helm.