Jason Kothari and John Fusco to Produce Bruce Lee-Scripted ‘The Silent Flute’
Jason Kothari, Hong Kong-born entrepreneur and film producer who was an executive producer on Vin Diesel-starring “Bloodshot,” has acquired all rights to The Silent Flute, the spiritual martial arts project co-written by martial arts icon Bruce Lee in 1970. The project is to be set up as a limited series with John Fusco (“Marco Polo”) as screenwriter and executive producer.
The story of “Silent Flute” is set in a dystopian future after mankind has suffered from pandemics, fires and civil wars, and where all weapons and combat arts are banned. It follows a raw fighter who overcomes grave obstacles and loss to reach enlightenment and become the best fighter in the world.
More from Variety
Bruce Lee's Daughter Shannon Recalls His Struggle to Make 'Enter the Dragon' in New Book Excerpt (EXCLUSIVE)
Bruce Lee's Daughter, Shannon, Says She's 'Open for a Conversation' With Quentin Tarantino
“The Silent Flute” film script was a five-year collaboration between Lee and his friends and martial arts students, Oscar-winning writer Stirling Silliphant and Oscar-winning actor James Coburn. It encapsulated Lee’s vision for the true essence of martial arts and the meaning of life and was his boldest creative passion project. It remained unfinished after Lee’s death in 1973 cut short his brief film career.
Rights to “The Silent Flute” were purchased from producer Paul Maslansky “Police Academy”), Sasha Maslansky, Kurt Fehtke and Arlene Howard. All be credited as executive producers.
Kothari is the former CEO of Valiant Entertainment, a U.S.-based superhero entertainment firm that secured a five-film deal with Sony Pictures. He is also on the board of India’s Balaji Telefilms.
“Despite it having been untouched for half a century, ‘The Silent Flute’ conveys groundbreaking themes for today, and my ambition is to do justice to the global icon’s powerful and inspiring cinematic vision,” said Kothari. “Having closely studied his life and career, I am committed to bringing together the best talent in the world to make ‘The Silent Flute’ for millions of Lee’s fans and honor him.”
Fusco, who recently delivered “The Highwaymen” for Netflix, is a black belt martial artist in three different disciplines. He studies Lee’s Jeet Kune Do philosophy under several of Lee’s former students.
“What Bruce wrote, along with Sterling Silliphant and my late friend James Coburn, was ahead of its time and transcends action drama in profound and provocative ways. What we hope to do is open up the canvas of his story world and honor his vision in the exciting way that epic long-form narrative can do today,” Fusco said.
Best of Variety
Before Liza Minnelli Won an Oscar, She Got Serious With 'Sterile Cuckoo' and 'Junie Moon'
Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.