Mason Lee to Star in Upcoming Bruce Lee Biopic - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Mason Lee to Star in Upcoming Bruce Lee Biopic

The celebrated life of Bruce Lee is going to be retold in a biopic directed by Ang Lee. The director’s son, Mason, is set to star in the film and has been training for three years to prepare for the role.

Bruce Lee is one of the most influential actors and martial artists ever. He found success on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Starring in several Hong Kong action movies before he became one of the first Chinese-Americans to make primetime American television when he played Kato in The Green Hornet. Lee’s lasting legacy revolutionised the film industry and brought martial arts and Asian influences to the forefront of Hollywood cinema. According to Deadline, Sony’s 3000 Pictures are developing a Biopic covering the life of Bruce Lee. Oscar winner Ang Lee will direct the film, with his son, Mason Lee, starring as the iconic actor.

Generations of fans grew up watching Bruce Lee’s action-packed films. Bruce’s high-flying and logic defying on-screen antics inspired many to test out their own martial arts moves at home, with varying rates of success. Bruce was an icon of the industry.  He founded the Jeet Kune Do fighting system and revolutionised action films. But just before he could make his breakthrough into the American Film industry, Bruce suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at only 32 years of age. Bruce’s influence has stood the test of time and his legacy will remain in the spotlight with the upcoming film.

Ang Lee, who will direct the biopic, described his deep respect for Bruce Lee’s work, “Accepted as neither fully American nor fully Chinese. Bruce Lee was a bridge between East and West who introduced Chinese Kung Fu to the world. A scientist of combat and an iconic performing artist who revolutionized both the martial arts and action cinema.” Lee told Deadline. “I feel compelled to tell the story of this brilliant, unique human being who yearned for belonging, possessed tremendous power in a 135-pound-frame, and who, through tireless hard work, made impossible dreams into reality.”

Ang Lee has twice won the Oscar for best director. First for ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and later for ‘Life of Pi’. He’s also an established figure in the martial arts genre. His film ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ won the Oscar for best foreign film. He has long held a deep admiration for Bruce Lee and the upcoming film is the result of years of planning.

Ang has been developing the film in secret and has called it a “passion project”. It seems like his son Mason was always going to play the lead. You might recognise Mason Lee from his roles in ‘The Hangover Part II’ and Lucy. Deadline reports that Mason has been working to get into Bruce Lee-style shape for the past three years. The 32-year-old has been training in Asia despite extensive lockdowns and restrictions during Covid.

We’re yet to see Mason show off his physique on screen and he has big shoes to fill playing Bruce. Bruce’s body and skill is what helped make him famous. To reach that level of fitness, we have to assume Mason is pushing himself immensely with an elaborate workout routine. With three years of prep time to attain the desired look, Mason’s hard work might just pay off.

Bruce Lee hasn’t always been represented particularly well. He was controversially portrayed by Mike Moh in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Where Lee’s daughter criticised Bruce’s depiction, saying the film presented Bruce as a “caricature” of what he really was. Shannon Lee said the film made Bruce look like an “arrogant asshole full of hot air.”

Ang Lee’s film will be the third biopic detailing Bruce’s life. His story was previously told in ‘Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story’ in 1993 and ‘Birth of the Dragon’ in 2016. Fans of the icon will be anxious to see if Mason Lee’s training pays off so he can recapture some of that classic Bruce Lee magic.

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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