Tuesday 12 April 2016

Bruce Lee biopic - filming begins in Chenjiagou!

Wang Xian (Rt) in a scene from Birth of the Dragon

Shooting officially began on the new Bruce Lee biopic "Birth of the Dragon" on the 11th April in Chenjiagou. The film tells a fictional story of Lee's life before he became an international movie  star, culminating in his well-documented challenge against Kung Fu master Wong Jack Man in San Francisco in 1965.
Wang Xian and Philip Ng who plays Bruce Lee
As reported in an earlier post, the film is being directed by George Nolfi, whose past successes include The Bourne Ultimatum and  The Adjustment Bureau. It tells the story of how Lee was deeply influenced by Taiji culture and received instruction in Taijiquan enabling him to bring his martial arts understanding to a high point. In the movie Wang Xian plays the part of Bruce Lee's Taijiquan master - in reality he learned the art from his father in Hong Kong.

Before shooting began, a number of trips were made to scout out the best locations for the early part of Lee's story - eventually deciding upon locations in Jiaozuo, Wenxian and in the scenic area of Yuntaishan. The cast was finalised, Hong Kong born American actor and martial artist and action choreographer Philip Ng Wanlung playing Bruce Lee; Xia Yu plays Wong Jack Man and, as mentioned previously Wang Xian takes the role of Lee's Taijiquan master - with students from his school acting as extras in the movie.
Director George Nolfi overseeing proceedings in the garden where Yang Luchan learned from Chen Changxin.

Wang Xian - movie star!

As well as promoting Chinese martial arts, Birth of  the Dragon introduces the world to Taijiquan's birthplace Chenjiagou. The film is expected to be released in 2017.   



  1. Wudangshan was the birth place of Taijiquan, internal arts have been practised at Wudang long before Taijiquan was even invented. Taijiquan evolved and was influenced by Taoist philosophy and Bagua (Ba Fa).

  2. Fictional story, fictional history!

  3. Yes, and it is a bird who has invented taichi, after fighting a snake ; )

  4. I think it's wonderful that there will be a movie about Bruce Lee in connection with Taijiquan.
    Let's hope that more (younger) people will get into Taijiquan. And then they can figure out where it's birth place might be...

  5. It's obvious, Internal arts were around about 800 years before documentation from Chenjiagou made any mention of Taijiquan.

    The answer is Wudangshan.


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