Kung fu fight in Vancouver Chinatown alley overnight tonight. Bruce Lee origin story Birth of the Dragon is filming a fight sequence choreographed by Corey Yuen of Bruce Lee (Philip Ng) coming to the rescue of his white martial arts student Steve McKee (Billy Magunussen). McKee has encountered some gangsters after training with Lee. Birth of a Dragon blends the fiction of Lee taking on gangsters with the real-life events leading up to the 1964 San Francisco fight between young Bruce Lee and China’s kung fu master Wong Jack Man.
Philip Ng. Once Upon a Time in Shanghai image.
Billy Magnussen on Vancouver’s Chinatown set.
Lyndon B. Johnson versus Barry Goldwater 1964 Presidential election set dressing on alley wall.
Billy Magnussen had fun sparring with a crew member before striking a mail box for the scene.
And then filmed striking the mail box without the winter coat.
Production then moved into the alley for the big overnight fight.
Born in 1940 in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Bruce Lee grew up in Hong Kong where he worked in film as a child actor and trained in Chinese marital arts. On return to the U.S, the 18-year-old taught his own version of Kung Fu to Americans and later opened a martial arts studio in Oakland. Reportedly, the fight with Wong Jack Man happened after Lee refused to stop teaching martial arts to Caucasions. Not long after, Lee started choreographing Hollywood fight scenes and playing supporting roles in American TV series and films — but never the lead. He had to go back to Hong Kong to do that, starring in Asian box office hits The Big Boss, Fist of Fury and Way of the Dragon (which introduced Chuck Norris to the world). Lee’s first American-Hong Kong production was Enter the Dragon. Sadly, Lee died at age 32 before its release.
Birth of the Dragon began filming in metro Vancouver in mid-November and is expected to wrap January 24th next year according to the DGC-BC Production List.