Christopher Wilkinson, Stephen Rivele to pen Bruce Lee origin tale

Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen Rivele have come on board to pen Bruce Lee origin story “Birth of the Dragon” for Groundswell Prods. and QED International.

The film will be produced by QED topper Bill Block, Groundswell CEO Michael London, Wilkinson and Rivele and exec produced by Kelly Mullen of Groundswell.

“Birth of the Dragon” is inspired by the true story of Lee’s duel with Wong Jack Man, a Kung Fu Master at a time when San Francisco’s Chinatown was controlled by Hong Kong Triads. The film tells the story of the match, which was fought with no rules and no referees, and culminates in Wong and Lee teaming up to battle a band of Chinatown gangsters.

“We’re excited to retell the fantastic origin story of the world’s most famous martial arts icon, which in the hands of Christopher and Stephen, lends itself to an action thriller we’re sure will enthrall movie fans around the world,” said Block.

Lee began appearing in films in the early 1970s before passing away in 1973.

Wilkinson and Rivele’s script for the Freddy Mercury biopic is set up at GK Films with Sacha Baron Cohen to star. The duo also penned the scripts for “Ali” and “Nixon.”

QED announced last week that it would finance and produce David Ayer’s World War II actioner “Fury” with John Lesher’s Le Grisbi Prods. QED’s production slate includes romantic comedy “Fading Gigolo,” directed by John Turturro and starring Turturro and Woody Allen, and the supernatural thriller “Haunt,” starring Jacki Weaver.

Groundswell productions include “Milk,” “The Visitor,” “Win Win” and “Very Good Girls,” which debuted last month at Sundance.

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