A Bruce Lee biopic sounds like a dicey proposition. How could watching someone pretend to be the greatest fighter of all time (by all means, @ me) accomplish anything other than making the audience wish for the genuine article? But judging from the newly released trailer, Birth of the Dragon has a fair amount going for it. For one, it has the good sense to focus on a single period of Lee’s life, narrowing the film to his early years in San Francisco, when he was building his legendary reputation. It’s got George Nolfi for a director, whose previous effort The Adjustment Bureau was at the very least interesting. And in the lead role, it’s got Phillip Ng, an inveterate kicker of ass who can also pull off Lee’s signature bowl-cut.
Cinemax wasn’t kidding with their intent to re-re-brand as an action network. Atop a Strike Back renewal, the network is now picking up Tong Wars drama Warrior, based on an idea by Bruce Lee, and produced by Furious franchise director Justin Lin.
The film is expected to blend the traditional elements of the biopic with the balletic thrills of wuxia cinema, examining Lee’s life and times while simultaneously acting as a white-knuckle action picture in its own right. Philip Ng has agreed to portray Lee himself, and Yu Xia, Billy Magnussen, Jinging Qu, and Jin Xing will appear in the supporting cast.