A biopic about the life of mixed martial arts superstar Bruce Lee has been in development for a while, but now it’s moving full steam ahead with a very intriguing director. George Nolfi, who previously helmed the Matt Damon sci-fi romance The Adjustment Bureau, has climbed on board Birth of The Dragon.
This Bruce Lee biopic hails from Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen Rivele, who previously penned two other terrific biopics, Nixon and Ali. It’s particularly encouraging that Wilkinson and Rivele wrote Ali, also about a famed athlete and fighter.
Birth of the Dragon is set to start filming next spring, once a cast has been locked into place, and today, an early synopsis emerged:
The film is inspired by the true story of Bruce Lee’s historic 1965 duel with Wong Jack Man, China’s most famous Kung Fu Master at a time when San Francisco’s Chinatown was controlled by Hong Kong Triads.
Producer Michael London of Groundswell previously expanded on that description, saying:
Stephen Rivele and Chris Wilkinson have taken a little-known chapter in the life of Bruce Lee and used it as a jumping-off point for a bold, exciting story about the making of an international legend.
Any biopic about Lee is sure to be exciting and interesting, given the fascinating life of its subject, but Nolfi is certainly an unconventional choice. Still, The Adjustment Bureau balanced a complex story and tone, so his talent behind the camera is fairly obvious.
Currently, Nolfi is in pre-production on Coercion, a TV movie about an American war hero who discovers that his family members are part of a Russian sleeper cell. Nolfi penned the script and will direct. That project already has a cast, including Margarita Levieva, Hope Davis and Scott Cohen, so it’s probable he’ll fit it in before beginning Birth of the Dragon next year.