'Shield's' Kurt Sutter to direct noir-style update

Warner Independent Pictures has set “The Shield” exec producer Kurt Sutter to write and make his feature directing debut on “Awaken the Dragon.”

Noir-style remake of “Enter the Dragon,” the 1973 martial arts classic that made Bruce Lee a global star, will be produced by John Wells, Fred Weintraub and Paul Heller.

John Wells Prods. is based on the Warner lot, and Weintraub and Heller were producers of the original WB-distributed film.

Sutter said he’s writing “Awaken the Dragon” as a contemporized drama about a lone FBI agent who pursues a rogue Shaolin monk into the bloody world of underground martial arts fight clubs.

Original film starred Lee as a martial artist who’s drafted by law enforcement to participate in a martial arts tournament and infiltrate a drug smuggling operation run from the host’s heavily guarded island.

“I’m a huge noir fan, and this plot lends itself to the film I want to make,” Sutter said. “I wanted to set it in these underground fight clubs where the action is really raw and expose the brutality of Shaolin kung fu. This will be more ‘Raging Bull’ than ‘Crouching Tiger’ in its viciousness.”

Sutter will look to discover a fight star in the role of the monk and cast an established American actor to play the FBI agent.

Sutter, who’ll be a consulting producer for the final season of “The Shield,” is writing the FX pilot “Forever Sam Crow,” a drama set in the world of outlaw motorcycle clubs. He’s completing the script to “Inland Saints,” a Paramount Pictures drama to be directed Joel Schumacher and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

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