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Bruce Lee Origin Story Heading to Big Screen

Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen Rivele, whose credits include "Nixon" and "Ali," have been hired to write the script.

Bruce Lee 1970 - P 2013
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Bruce Lee in 1970

QED International and banner Groundswell Productions are aiming to tell a Bruce Lee origin story with Birth of the Dragon, tapping scribes Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen Rivele to pen the tale.

Dragon, according to QED and Groundswell, is inspired by the true-life duel between Lee and Wong Jack Man, who was China’s most famous kung fu Master. The no-rules fight took place in San Francisco in 1965, when the city’s Chinatown was controlled by Hong Kong triads.

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The writers are using this true event as a jumping-off point for a wider-canvas action movie in which Wong and Lee team up to battle a band of Chinatown gangsters.

QED CEO Bill Block and Groundswell’s Michael London will produce the project along with Wilkinson and Rivele. Groundswell’s Kelly Mullen will exec produce.
 

"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,” said London in a statement.

Wilkinson and Rivele are best known for their biopic work. The duo’s credits include Nixon, the 1995 drama directed by Oliver Stone that netted them an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay, and 2001's Ali, directed by Michael Mann. They also wrote Mercury, the story of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, which is set up at GK Films with Sacha Baron Cohen to star.