David Leitch May Try To Resurrect The Spirit Of Bruce Lee With ENTER THE DRAGON
Robert Clouse's Enter the Dragon isn't a great movie, but it came along at just the right moment to capitalize on its exploitation amalgamation of low-rent Spy/Cop/Blaxploitation/Chop-socky tropes, fueled almost entirely by the star power of Green Hornet icon, Bruce Lee. That movie made $90 million worldwide on a budget of $850,000, yet sadly became most notable for being Lee's last completed motion picture before his untimely death in 1973.
Enter the Dragon's premise is rather simple, which in part explains its influence on a whole swath of action movies during the decades that followed: a martial artist agrees to spy on reclusive crime lord Han (Kien Shih), using his invitation to a death match tournament being held on the overlord's private island as cover. There are also side characters - namely the indebted gambling addict Roper (John Saxon) and his 'Nam buddy Williams (Jim Kelly) - who head to Han's lair, all looking to fight to the death in order to get paid.
Keeping the rather stripped down story in mind, it's really no wonder that Enter the Dragon would be remade for a new era, as all the production really needs to do is keep the template in place, pick the right star, and then let a solid action director go HAM with the set pieces. Today, Deadline is reporting that John Wick/Atomic Blonde director David Leitch has entered talks to man a redux of Dragon, bringing his hyper-slick style to this game of death.
Leitch - who just killed at the BO with Deadpool 2 and is currently in production on the upcoming Fast & Furious spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw - is a solid choice to helm this (though this writer would admittedly prefer Wick directing partner Chad Stahelski behind the lens*). He knows how to shoot a great fight scene, and there's just enough plot for him to inject a ton of his trademark neon and glass into the cop/spy theatrics. No writer has been assigned to the project as of yet, but with a movie this visually driven, they'd really only be creating a solid blue print for Leitch to insert mayhem into.
However, the success of this redux totally hinges on who they get to play Lee's character (who was also, unironically, named "Lee"). My personal suggestion? Iko Uwais. Fill out the Roper and Williams roles with Scott Adkins and Michael Jai White, and we're cooking with gasoline. If you can shoehorn Frank Grillo and Jing Wu in there, too, I wouldn't be mad at ya, David.
No release date has been eyed, but we'll keep you updated if/when Leitch signs on the dotted line.
*The far more gifted action weirdo out of the duo, IMHO. He also already updated Dragon's climactic mirror fight with guns in John Wick 2.