|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.