TV Fact #273 – July 24th, 2015:

In her memoirs, actor Bruce Lee’s widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, asserts that Lee created the concept for the series “Kung Fu” (1972-1975), which was then stolen by Warner Bros. Some circumstantial evidence supports this in a December 8, 1971 television interview that Bruce Lee gave on “The Pierre Berton Show” (1972-1973).

In the interview, Lee stated that he had developed a concept for a television series called “The Warrior”, meant to star himself. It, like “Kung Fu”, would have been about a martial artist in the American Old West, but that he was having trouble pitching it to Warner Brothers and Paramount.

It’s interesting. Granted it’s a pretty broad concept and Lee was even considered for the lead role but series creator Ed Spielman felt outraged at the allegations. In 1993, after “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story”, the film made about Lee’s life starring Jason Scott Lee (No relation to Bruce Lee), reiterated the idea that “Kung Fu” was Lee’s idea, Spielman almost sued Universal, DeLaurentis Productions, and all of those who were responsible for the false allegations made in the movie. However, with the recent death of Lee’s only son Brandon Lee on the set of his 1994 film “The Crow” two months earlier, Spielman dropped the lawsuit as it would have fallen solely on Cadwell, Lee’s widow. He felt she had suffered enough and felt assured enough that that documents, which declared the complete story and characters were registered in the mid-1960’s, would defend his ownership of the show.

On a side note, “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” was dedicated to both Bruce and his son Brandon Lee. Perhaps let’s leave it at that. The pure image of a great martial arts star. Let the ridiculous and unnecessary controversy of it stay buried.

Published in: on July 24, 2015 at 11:21 PM  Leave a Comment  

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