BL's various unmade projectsDecember 21 2015 at 6:43 AM
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Response to BL's Unmade Modern Action Movies
1) YELLOW FACED TIGER (aka A Man Called Tiger)
**Milky Way (Galaxy) Pictorial Issue 166 (early 1972):
“Bruce said before shooting WOTD, he will make use of this interval to shoot a modern action film, titled “Cold Face Tiger” or “Yellow Faced Tiger” (original title “Love Song of The Dark Night”). The leading actress will be Nora Miao and Maria Yi. It will be filmed in Japan. Bruce wants to go to Japan to shoot mainly because the audiences are too familiar with the HK sceneries and April is the month where Sakura blossoms in Japan. It will be nice to capture this beautiful scenery and used it as the movie’s background. The audience will surely be attracted to it.”
(Note: Bruce and Lo Wei fell out later, thus, the role in YFT went to Jimmy Wang Yu and Bruce went to film WOTD)
2) THE SHRINE OF ULTIMATE BLISS (aka Stoner; A Man Called Stoner)
**New Nation 23rd Aug 1973:
"Pang Cheng-Lian, the NN reporter who interviewed twice, said she spoke to Bruce a fortnight ago (before his death, i.e. circa 6th Jul 1973), Bruce was telling her that negotiations were going on for another co-production with Warner Brothers (Note; there were several scripts in the midst of discussion like The Green Bamboo Warrior and FBI story - Stoner)."
**The FBI movies originally to cast Bruce Lee dated September 24 2015:
(Note: George Lazenby, Angela Mao, Helen Ma, Bob Wall etc. were being told by Bruce that they would play along with him in the FBI movies before his untimely passing.)
3) SAI FUNG (aka Little Phoenix)
Note: Bearing the same title as Shaw’s costume version but this is a modern version.
**New Nation 27th Feb 1973:
“Chinese screen super strongman Bruce Lee has reformed. His next film will be educational. According to the producer of his box-office smash hits, the blood and violence that has typified Bruce Lee’s films will be missing, or will appear only in small doses, in his next film. Mr Raymond Chow said, ‘His next film will have a good theme and will be educational. It is about a young man who is drawn into bad society and how he reforms through his mother and girlfriend. The film will also show how he reforms several of his friends as well.’
Film producers in HK began making adjustments to the violence aspect in films six months ago. We now handle the themes carefully. The action is limited to where it is necessary to develop the story. We have never liked the display of violence. But then, you have to reflect a little reality in the world although you don’t have to exaggerate. Future Bruce Lee’s films will be treated in the same way,’ he added.”
(Note: This probably meant Sai Fung, the only modern non-action/melodrama movie intended for Bruce)
**Milky Way (Galaxy) Pictorial Issue 185 (mid 1973):
"Before Bruce’s death in July, he planned to shoot a film called “Sai Fung.” The script has been ready. He has even invited Josephine Siu Fung-Fung and Pak Yan (both have played along with him in his childhood films) to be cast in this film. Sai Fung is Bruce’s nickname. When he was still a teenager filming “The Orphan,” he was like a “Ngau Wong Jai” (son of bull King, literally means a bully or trouble maker) but in the eyes of his mother he was liked his nickname Sai Fung, a well-behaved child, like a 'good daughter'."
**Madam Tam Neng’s article on 19th Mar 2010:
"Before Bruce’s passing, the script “Sai Fung” (or “Little Phoenix) was completed.
It was written by a quite well-known HK movies cum TV series scriptwriter called Madam Tam Neng.
Both Bruce and Madam Tam Neng knew each other since young. Later, Bruce and GH hired her to write a script called “Sai Fung” (aka “Little Phoenix”). One day, Ricky Chik approached her and said, “Bruce wanted you to help him write a script.” She laughed and replied, “But I don’t know anything about Kung Fu.” He said, “Yeah, Bruce doesn’t want Kung Fu. He wants to change his film genre and wants to play melodrama with emotions. He has one condition, i.e. he insists the title of the film to be called “Sai Fung.” Bruce had another request, i.e. to write a role for Unicorn Chan. his childhood friend and buddy.
Mdm Tang said she has designed a role of a young motor car mechanic for Bruce; how he was adopted by his master from the orphanage; then became a mechanic; what obstacles he encountered etc. It is a very inspiring story. Bruce loved it very much after reading the script. Of course, Mdm Tang also insisted to add in some action scenes otherwise the audience would be very disappointed. Eventually, she started preparing to write the dialogue parts. Unfortunately, Bruce passed on soon later. Robert Lee and Phobe Lee acknowledged the script was meant for their brother, Sai Fung after reading it."
More on The Scriptwriter Who Wrote “Sai Fung” dated August 22 2015:
4) SILENT FLUTE
Much has been elaborated on this unmade project which was written by Stirling Silliphant with many inputs by James Coburn and Bruce Lee between 1970-1971.
“I've had this idea for a movie a long time now. It’s just a very general thing right now, but I know what I want. I'd like to do something that captures the heart and soul of the martial arts on film. It's going to be a team effort. Stirling Silliphant and Jim Coburn are making tremendous contributions. They're doing the martial arts the greatest credit ever.”
**Bruceleedaily.com: “Famous producers of the world strive to employ BL”
“The popularized Bruce Lee, not only became the target of the producers in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but also was an important star in the eyes of the producers in Europe and America. They included eight big companies in Hollywood - Warner Brothers, MGM, Columbia, United Artists and Fox.
In April of 1973, as James Coburn and another high-rank executive of Fox arrived in Hong Kong, Bruce and Raymond Chow went to meet them in the airport. Taking a short-cut, Fox sent Bruce's close friend James Coburn to be the persuader, and invited Bruce to work in a film, hoping to get Bruce first through their close relation..
James Coburn and Bruce Lee were good friends. They had a teacher-and-student relationship, and had worked together too. Before Bruce entered the Mandarin film world, he had planned to film together with James a film, "The Silent Flute."
They had been to India to survey the exterior site, and had stayed there for a long time. On the basis of this close relation between the two, doubtless Fox was in a favorable position.
**Legends of The Dragon by SK:
"Stirling Silliphant arrived in Hong Kong in April 1972 to give Bruce the new production of their script - Silent Flute. Bruce and Raymond Chow welcome Silliphant and his wife enthusiastically at the Kai Tak Airport, with his two co-actresses of Big Boss and Fists of Fury, Nora Miao and Maria Yi. The interview went well, confirmed by Silliphant in a letter to his departure from HK."
**Milky Way (Galaxy) Pictorial Issue 182 (early 1973):
"Recently, Fox has sent James Coburn in early 1973 to persuade Bruce Lee as friend to do a production for them (Note: Silent Flute), however, Bruce cannot find the time to oblige.
Bruce Lee will be going to the States in May for 2 purposes. He will do some publicity for ETD, and at the same time, Warner Bros and he will talk about their next film. It is Bruce’s wish that he can finish GAME before he leaves for the States.
As to what the next BL picture will be is a difficult question. With tons of offers for him to choose, even BL himself is cracking his head to figure the answer out."
Great artwork and excellent info! - Steven C. on Dec 21, 2015, 10:33 AM
Bruce in edcational role? - dragonforever on Dec 22, 2015, 1:13 AM