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The estate of legendary martial artist and actor Bruce Lee is seeking to stop his name, likeness and story from featuring in the upcoming Hong Kong action biopic Ip Man 3.
Hong Kong-based Pegasus Motion Pictures said at Filmart that the now-filming Ip Man 3 will feature a young, computer-generated likeness of Bruce Lee, a real-life disciple of Wing Chun master Ip Man (played by Donnie Yen).
Bruce Lee Enterprises (BLE) has asserted that it has undisputed ownership of all intellectual property rights related to Bruce Lee and is the sole owner of all worldwide rights relating to Bruce Lee’s name, image, likeness, persona, signature, voice, attributes, marks, logos, symbols, works, photographs and writings. BLE COO and general counsel Kris Storti tells THR that the Bruce Lee estate is “justifiably shocked” to learn that Pegasus is intending to include Bruce Lee in Ip Man 3, and that the decision is “completely unauthorized” by BLE. “To state it in no uncertain terms, BLE intends to seek all remedies available to it to stop Pegasus from including the computer-generated version of Bruce Lee in Ip Man 3,” Storti stated.
The producers of Ip Man 3 have the cooperation of Robert Lee, Bruce Lee’s brother, who is working as a consultant on the film. While Pegasus asserted that Robert Lee owns the intellectual property rights of Bruce Lee, BLE contended that “Robert Lee does not own or control any intellectual property rights associated with Bruce Lee, including, without limitation, any rights to Bruce Lee’s name, likeness and image. Robert Lee does not represent BLE, nor is he authorized to represent any intellectual property rights in connection with Bruce Lee in any way.”
Ip Man 3 producer and Pegasus chairman Raymond Wong told THR that the matter is now being handled by lawyers, with an announcement to be made soon.
Ip Man 3 will star Mike Tyson opposite Donnie Yen and is set for a 2016 release.
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