Variety: Philip Ng cast as Bruce Lee in ‘Birth of the Dragon’

'Birth of the Dragon': Philip Ng

Variety (by Dave McNary):

Philip Ng will portray Bruce Lee in martial arts action movie “Birth of the Dragon,” with shooting commencing Tuesday in Vancouver.

Yu Xia will play Shaolin Master Wong Jack Man and Billy Magnussen will portray martial arts student Steve McKee. Jinging Qu plays the love interest of McKee’s character and Jin Xing will portray a crime boss. George Nolfi is directing from a script by Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen J. Rivele, who have writing credits on “Ali” and “Nixon.”

Groundswell Productions is producing the movie.

The film recreates the mid-1960’s fight between Lee and Wong Jack Man from the point of view of McKee. After the fight, Lee reinvented himself and his style of kung fu. Action sequences will be designed by martial arts choreographer Corey Yuen, whose credits include “Lethal Weapon 4,” “X-Men,” “Romeo Must Die” and “The Expendables.”

Lee began appearing in films in the early 1970s before passing away in 1973. Wong remained silent about the fight for many years and retired from teaching martial arts in 2005 after 45 years.

’Birth of the Dragon’ is a rare opportunity to make an action film with rich characters based on real events and real people,” Nolfi said. “It’s a story about people from the East and West transcending their differences to work together, which is obviously a very timely story.

We’re thrilled to be telling one of the great untold stories in martial arts history, especially at this unique moment when China and Western audiences are opening up to each other as never before,” said London. “To work with a Chinese film company like Kylin on a story that has so much significance in China has been a wonderful collaboration, and, we hope, the first of many.”


BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) presents “All Hail the King: The Films of King Hu”


Jun 6—Jun 17, 2014
Part of BAMcinématek

Master of the martial arts movie, Chinese cinematic titan King Hu revolutionized the wuxia/swordplay film, introducing a refined sense of aesthetics, attention to mise-en-scène, and sense of mysticism to the genre that was borne out of his lifelong love for Chinese opera. With its unique blend of thrilling action and dazzling stylistic expressiveness, Hu’s style influenced decades of subsequent Asian cinema.

BAMcinématek‘s full-career retrospective of this “extravagantly talented visual stylist” (Bruce Bennett, The New York Sun) presents his work alongside an international selection of films that either anticipate his inimitable style or bear its influence.

Presented in conjunction with the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York.

All the King’s Men
Wed, Jun 11, 2014

Hu introduced a wry sense of humor into the historical epic form with this lavish, gorgeous-to-behold tale of intrigue, power plays, and elaborate political machinations during the tail end of the Tang Dynasty.


The Blade
Fri, Jun 13, 2014

A longtime favorite of Quentin Tarantino, this brutal martial arts film is one of Tsui Hark’s most audacious works.

The Valiant Ones
Fri, Jun 13, 2014

Hu’s last wuxia film is a stylistically innovative tale about a band of warriors battling Japanese pirates that transforms breathless fight sequences into an abstracted rush of rhythm and movement.

Goodbye, Dragon Inn
Sat, Jun 14, 2014

Contemporary art-house darling Tsai Ming-liang pays poignant tribute to Hu with this entrancing elegy for the golden age of Taiwanese cinema set during the last screening at a crumbling Taipei movie palace.

Dragon Inn
Sat, Jun 14, 2014

A trio of swordsmen and women battle the forces of a powerful, conniving eunuch in this awe-inspiringly ambitious martial arts classic that laid the foundations for decades of wuxia films to come.

Seven Samurai
Sun, Jun 15, 2014

This sweeping chronicle of courage and heroism is one of the greatest movie epics of all time.


The Fate of Lee Khan
Sun, Jun 15, 2014

Martial arts icon Angela “Lady Whirlwind” Mao stars in this rollicking, rousing comic adventure about a band of largely female warriors who join forces to stop a Mongol warlord from acquiring a valuable map.


 Legend of the Mountain

Mon, Jun 16, 2014

One of Hu’s most visually ravishing works, this supernatural fable follows a scholar on retreat in the mountains who finds himself seduced by ghosts.


Raining in the Mountain
Tue, Jun 17, 2014

Intrigue abounds in a Buddhist monastery as a nobleman and a general each conspire to steal a valuable scroll in this virtuoso showcase for Hu’s luxurious mise-en-scène.


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BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) presents “All Hail the King: The Films of King Hu”