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‘Birth of the Dragon’ Reveals Bruce Lee’s Most Controversial Fight

‘Birth of the Dragon’ Reveals Bruce Lee’s Most Controversial Fight

One of the most dramatic and controversial fights of Bruce Lee‘s career did not take place on the silver screen or even in front of a cheering crowd but rather behind closed doors, a private Man on Man contest between martial arts masters. Believed to have stemmed from a conflict over Lee teaching Chinese martial arts to Caucasian men, the tension escalated to the point that Lee and instructor Wong Jack Man came to blows in a bout for honor. A new trailer for Birth of the Dragon sets up this story in dramatic fashion.

To be clear, this film isn’t a straight biopic of Lee’s life and career but rather takes inspiration from this legendary fight. It took place before Lee’s Hollywood star status really took off, though he had already been acting in Chinese films from an early age. A couple of years after this match, he would star as Kato on both The Green Hornet and in a few episodes of Batman before embracing his feature film status. Also of note, Birth of the Dragon originally premiered at TIFF 2016, but this is a new cut of the film.

George Nolfi directs from a script by Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson. Phillip Ng, Xia Yu, Billy Magnussen, Jin Xing, Jingjing Qu, and Simon Yin star, with Martial Arts Supervisor Corey Yuen overseeing the all-important fight sequences. Look for Birth of the Dragon in theaters on September 22nd

Here’s the official synopsis for Birth of the Dragon:

In 1964, Bruce Lee took on Wong Jack Man in one of the most controversial fights of all time. Watch the trailer for Birth of the Dragon, the film inspired by this true event.


Set against the backdrop of 1960s San Francisco, BIRTH OF THE DRAGON is a modern take on the classic movies that Bruce Lee was known for. It takes its inspiration from the epic and still controversial showdown between an up-and-coming Bruce Lee and kung fu master Wong Jack Man – a battle that gave birth to a legend.


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