EXCLUSIVE: Martial arts classic Enter The Dragon, which propelled Bruce Lee to international stardom, is turning 50 this month. In marking the milestone, Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, is unveiling a new anime series House of Lee, from Bruce Lee Entertainment, content platform Shibuya and its co-founder, artist Emily Yang.
House of Lee, the first ever Bruce Lee anime project, will premiere in 2024.
In celebration of Enter the Dragon‘s 50th anniversary, special 4K UHD screenings of the movie will be held in over 650 theaters on Sunday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 16. They will include the House of Lee trailer, which you can watch above.
The team at Bruce Lee Entertainment, the production and creative IP arm of the Bruce Lee Family Companies, had been looking to do a Bruce Lee animated project for years. Shannon Lee was ultimately inspired by personal experiences to create the story behind House of Lee.
“Anime is an amazing medium for telling a truly creative story where Bruce Lee can be Bruce Lee, she said. “I’m so excited for the possibilities for action, fantasy, history, culture, and creativity within this medium.”
House of Lee is an action/fantasy series that sees Bruce Lee fighting to assemble his Dragon Warriors before the world plunges too far into darkness and shadow. It takes inspiration from the famous Bruce Lee quote, “Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.”
Through a community campaign — something Shibuya specializes in — the company and Bruce Lee Entertainment have been able to produce the project independently.
Lee picked Shibuya as a partner after seeing its White Rabbit anime short, co-created by Yang, known in the web3 space as Pplpleasr.
“I love Emily and Shibuya’s perspective,” Lee said. “They are such creative, hard working, skilled artists with an amazing brand, I just knew that they would be perfect collaborators. The organic way it all came together spoke volumes of our potential collaboration, and it’s been great!”
Shannon Lee had seen White Rabbit through Dennis Chang, Managing Partner of Bruce Lee, LLC.
“He connected us and she told me about her House of Lee project which is an anime about the Lee family legacy,” Yang said. “I found myself immediately resonating with the narrative as it touches on themes of spirituality, the battle against your inner demons, and so many aspects of the AAPI experience. It being such a personal story, Shannon wanted to really retain creative control and ownership. At Shibuya, our mission is to help creators do just that and so I knew this was something we had to be a part of.”
In Enter the Dragon, recruited by an intelligence agency, martial arts student Lee participates in a brutal tournament at a remote island fortress in an attempt to gather enough evidence to convict the international drug trafficker responsible for the murder of Lee’s sister. In the now-classic fight-to-the-death finish, two men enter a mirrored maze, but only one will exit. Though uncredited at the time, future superstars Chuck Norris, playing a messenger, and Jackie Chan, as Oharra’s henchman, appeared in the film.
The anniversary screenings will feature an introduction by film historian Leonard Maltin examining Enter The Dragon‘s legacy as the first kung fu action film produced by a Hollywood studio whose meticulous fight sequences continue to influence the genre to this day.