A new version of Bruce Lee’s martial arts classic Enter the Dragon is on its way and a key creative talent may have just been landed. Read onward to learn all we know about this upcoming action drama.
Who’s the new prospective talent?
David Leitch is in early talks to direct the film, according to Deadline. Leitch is very hot right now, coming off the huge worldwide success of Deadpool 2.
A longtime stunt performer and actor, Leitch’s early credits include TV’s Martial Law, starring Sammo Hung, who appeared in Enter the Dragon. (So did Jackie Chan, briefly!) Leitch soon became a stunt coordinator and then a second unit director; his more recent credits in those capacities include Jurassic World and Captain America: Civil War.
He also worked on John Wick and then earned his first solo directing credit for last year’s Atomic Blonde, which firmly established his skills as an action director. Next he will be directing Hobbs and Shaw, the first spin-off movie from the Fast and Furious franchise, due in theaters on July 26, 2019.
What’s the original story?
An expert martial artist (Bruce Lee) is invited to a tournament held every three years on an island owned by a billionaire (Shih Kien) who is suspected of wide-ranging criminal activity and may be responsible for the death of the martial artist’s sister. Two American martial artists (John Saxon, Jim Kelly) who served together during the Vietnam War also attend, following their own personal agendas.
What made it special?
Bruce Lee. Born in San Francisco, Lee grew up in Hong Kong and made his first big-screen appearances there. After returning to the United States, he became an expert martial artist and then found initial success on TV’s The Green Hornet. Seeking lead roles, Lee went to Hong Kong and enjoyed big success starring in three films.
Lee can be seen at the height of his powers in Enter the Dragon, which is largely driven by the fight sequences that he dominates with his skill, energy and charisma. He had great screen presence, which is amply evident. Sadly, Lee died six days before the film was released in Hong Kong. A modestly-budgeted production, Enter the Dragon made more than $90 million worldwide at the box office.
What will make the new version distinctive?
A remake has been kicking around Hollywood for a long time. For example, Kurt Sutter was tapped to write and direct a remake in 2007, with the idea that it would only loosely resemble the original, following an FBI agent “who pursues a rogue Shaolin monk into the bloody world of underground martial arts fight clubs.” Sutter, known at the time for writing and producing TV’s The Shield, soon launched Sons of Anarchy and his version never got made.
Per Deadline, Spike Lee and Brett Ratner have also developed their own versions in the past. But right now, we don’t know what the new version might entail; the report simply indicates that a new writer will be hired.
When will we be able to see it?
Leitch won’t be able to give his full attention to the project until Hobbs and Shaw is in theater next year. By then, perhaps a script will have been completed. Most likely, we won’t see a new Enter the Dragon until 2021 or later.