QED International and banner Groundswell Productions are aiming to tell a Bruce Lee origin story with Birth of the Dragon, tapping scribed 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.
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 which netted them an Oscar nomination for writing, and Ali, directed by Michael Mann. They also wrote Mercury, the story of Freddy Mercury, which is set up at GK Films with Sacha Baron Cohen to star.