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Bruce Lee revived and kicking

Bruce Lee
A Hong Kong man walks past artwork of martial arts star Bruce Lee  

SEOUL, South Korea -- Martial arts film hero Bruce Lee is to again star in a film -- almost 30 years after his death.

The resurrection of the Hong Kong kung-fu legend's movie career is the ultimate aim of a South Korean filmmaking company, ShinCine Communications.

Head filmmaker Chul Shin said the company will make a $50 million movie using digital, computer-generated images (CGI) and new voice technology.

Lee, who died in 1973, will be a kick-boxing hero in the same style his fans loved in Hong Kong martial arts movies of the 1970s like "Way of the Dragon."

In a telephone interview, Shin said the movie's script was still being written, so he did not want to be specific about the story.

"There are many ideas. I cannot, now, choose from all of them," Shin said. "He is always used as the hero, and he has strong charisma. I want to re-create that image, again."

Shin said he expects "Dragon Warrior" to be ready for theaters around the world in about three years.

He added that Lee was a hero of his in his school years, and by making the movie, Lee can again be the same sort of character for a younger generation.

Lee continues to be admired by audiences in Asia, America and Europe.

Rights acquired

Shin described the technology being used as "totally new", saying it would re-create Lee's image and cause him to interact with live-action actors and actresses. An actor would tape Lee's dialogue, and computer software would change the actor's voice to make it sound like Lee.

ShinCine acquired the rights to Lee's name and likeness from Concord Moon, a company administered by Lee's widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, and Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee.

In a statement for Lee's family, Shannon Lee said they sold the rights because they "believe in ShinCine's and Mr. Shin's enthusiasm and commitment to making a first rate film."

Shin founded ShinCine in 1988 and has made some 15 films including current Korean hit "Wild Beauty" and 1999's "Lies."

Lee was born in San Francisco, but moved to Hong Kong as a kid and was in a number of movies in the late 1940s and 1950s.

In 1966, he landed his first U.S. co-starring role on TV's "The Green Hornet" as trusted servant, Kato. But his early impact in Hollywood came as a teacher of martial arts to celebrities like James Coburn.

Untimely death

Returning to Hong Kong in the early 1970s, Lee began making martial arts films and was a huge hit based both on his skills as a kick-boxer and his sense of humor.

Movies like 1971's "Fists of Fury" and 1973's "Enter the Dragon," which was released after his death, lifted him to cult hero status.

Lee died in July, 1973, in Hong Kong of a brain hemorrhage caused by an allergic reaction to pain killers.

His son, Brandon Lee, followed him into acting and was on the verge of becoming a star in his own right when he, too, suffered an untimely death at age 27, due to an accidental gunshot on a movie set.

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