Bruce Lee died 44 years ago next week, but he nonetheless remains the most famous — and popular — martial-arts star the genre has ever seen. His legend will only get a further boost via Birth of the Dragon, a new inspired-by-real-events saga that details a famous showdown between the actor and an accomplished master who objected to Lee’s decision to train Caucasian men to fight. Ahead of its late-summer release comes its first trailer (watch it above), which teases a fearsome action saga that doubles as an origin story for Lee’s superstar persona.
In Birth of the Dragon, Lee (Philip Ng) is a struggling actor who spends his off-camera time schooling American men in the martial arts. When news gets back to Wong Jack Man (Yu Xia), a Chinese martial-arts instructor, he travels to the States to give Lee his own lesson. From the looks of this preview, that’s a set-up for a modernity-vs-tradition contest set in 1960s San Francisco, and fought with furious fists and flying roundhouse kicks. And with combat choreography from Corey Yuen (famous for his numerous collaborations with Jet Li, as well as directing The Transporter), it’s bound to culminate with a seriously swift, brutal centerpiece match between the rivals.
We’ll learn whether Ng can embody the borderline-mythic Lee as both a man and as a fighter on August 25, when Birth of the Dragon blasts into theaters.
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