GEORGE TOWN: Penang will be on the silver screen yet again, when ‘Little Dragon’, a film which features legendary martial arts star Bruce Lee's teenage years, hit theatres at the end of next year.
In addition, Penangites also stand a chance to be roped in to play extras in the filming, which is slated to begin at the end of next month, and may stretch on until November.
Lee's daughter, Shannon, who is co-producing the film, said Penang possesses the perfect setting to replicate her father’s childhood in Hong Kong in the 1950s.
"The natural setting here, particularly the old buildings, are perfect for our filming," she said after paying a courtesy call on Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at his office today.
Shannon said the production crew had been going to the ground for weeks now.
Meanwhile, Shannon said the film would focus on the life of her father as a teenager, his influences and as a champion ‘cha-cha’ dancer.
"It will be an original story of my father's teenage years," she added.
Four candidates have been shortlisted to play Lee's role from the initial 5,000 candidates who auditioned during a worldwide search over the past six to seven months.
One of the four is a Malaysian talent.
Besides Penang, ‘Little Dragon’, named after Lee, will also be shot in Pinewood Iskandar Studios in Johor Baru and Guangzhou, China.
Lee was born in San Francisco, California, in the United States but was raised in Kowloon, Hong Kong during his teenage years. He died on July 20, 1973 at the age of 32.
Lee's father, Lee Hoi-chuen, was a famous Cantonese opera star, and because of this, the junior Lee was introduced into films at a very young age and appeared in several films as a child.
Lee's first role was as a baby who was carried onto the stage in the film ‘Golden Gate Girl’. By the time he was 18, Lee had appeared in 20 films.
Lee is notable for his roles in five feature-length films -- Lo Wei's ‘The Big Boss’ (1971) and ‘Fist of Fury’ (1972); Golden Harvest's ‘Way of the Dragon’ (1972), directed and written by Lee; Golden Harvest and Warner Brothers' ‘Enter the Dragon’ (1973) and ‘Game of Death’ (1978), both directed by Robert Clouse.