Joined: June 18th, 2018, 1:17 am

July 20th, 2018, 3:48 pm #61

[quote="PhantomDreamer"]
It's probably a very small part, but what are your thoughts about actor Mike Moh being cast as Bruce Lee in Tarantino's 1969 Hollywood movie starring Pitt & DiCaprio?
[/quote]

I'm delighted that Tarantino is going to put Bruce into his movie. I'll be fascinated with how he uses Bruce's character, since he like to play around with history. Maybe Bruce gets into a boss fight with Charles Manson! I personally don't know anything about Mike Moh, so I can't speak to the appropriateness of his casting.
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Joined: June 18th, 2018, 1:17 am

July 20th, 2018, 3:55 pm #62

[quote="leon00"]
A few questions for Mr Polly again :)

1) Did you see or have you read Bruce Lee's daytime diaries 1967-1973 and do you know when they finnaly gonna published it for the fans?

2) Have you seen GOD scripts, notes, drawings of Bruce, again when get the fans see that stuff?

3) Have you seen notes, drawings, etc of Bruce's other movies like BB, FOF etc.?

4) Do you know if there is comming out a Silent Flute book in the future, there is a script a story etc.
Steve Kerridge mension once he has a lot of material for that...

THANKS!!! 
[/quote]

Hey Leon,
1) Yes, I have Bruce's daytime planners. They were extremely helpful in my research, specifically in establishing the chronology of events. It would have been very hard to write the book without them. I have no idea if they will ever be published. That is up to the Estate. But I certainly hope they will be.
2) No, I don't have anything about GOD that wasn't in John Little's excellent book and documentary on the topic, A Warrior's Journey. I also interviewed John on the topic. It would be great if the Estate published more on it, since this is an eternal subject of fascination for the fans.
3) Again, no. I didn't see anything that's not public record for BB or FOF.
4) I have the script for Silent Flute. It's absolutely fascinating--a wild read. I bet Steve Kerridge has a ton of stuff on the Silent Flute. I hope he does a book on it. Steve is very exacting, so if he does we will have to wait a long time for it.
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Joined: June 18th, 2018, 1:17 am

July 20th, 2018, 3:58 pm #63

[quote="leon00"]
MR Polly  did you read or see Bruce's unfinished scripts like : Silent Flute, Green Bamboo Warrior, Eastern Fist Northren Leg etc.
[/quote]

I have the scripts for "The Silent Flute" and "Northern Leg, Southern Fist." A source described Green Bamboo Warrior to me, but I never got a copy of what amounts to notes for a treatment.
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Joined: June 18th, 2018, 1:17 am

July 20th, 2018, 4:07 pm #64

[quote="JTF"]
MATTHEW: What led to your decision to leave out the 4th member of the point fighters who Bruce Lee trained on a consistent basis? Louis Delgado was the last point fighter to defeat Chuck Norris, he is present in a good portion of Lee's backyard videos, and he told Black Belt Magazine that sparring with Bruce was a humbling experience. In 1974, Delgado told Fighting Stars Magazine that Lee was the toughest fighter he ever faced. This comes from a man who competed against Joe Lewis and Chuck Norris in point tournaments.

 
[/quote]

That's an excellent question. It may seem hard to believe with a 600+ page biography but lots of things I wanted to get into the book (like a close reading of "Liberate Yourself From Classical Karate") were cut for space. Louis Delgado was one of them because he was the 4th. When Bruce talked about his point fighting karate champion students he always mentioned Stone, Norris, and Lewis, but he rarely, if ever, mentioned Delgado.

Bey Logan believes a bunch of Bruce's high kicks were actually adopted from Delgado, not Norris or Jhoon Rhee as those two men have claimed. As you point out Delgado was much more complimentary towards Bruce's talent than Norris, Stone, and Lewis. We originally planned for this biography to be two volumes. So about 1000 pages in total. But the publisher decided against it. So sadly a lot of things had to be cut like Delgado and Lee's relationship.
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Joined: June 18th, 2018, 1:17 am

July 20th, 2018, 4:36 pm #65

[quote="JKD54"]
Hi Matthew,

1. How is the book doing? Have you received any feedback from Simon and Schuster? How is the book tour going?

2. A couple of years ago on this forum, there was a big debate over whether The Warrior was the same concept as the Kung Fu TV series. Some members believed Bruce had really created the idea of what became Kung Fu. Some speculated The Warrior was actually the working title for Kung Fu. And some thought, that if Bruce hadn't created Kung Fu, he at least contributed ideas to it.  Other members, including me, came to think that The Warrior was a similar but completely separate idea from Kung Fu, and that Bruce had little if anything to do with Kung Fu, which was Ed Spielman and Howard Friedlander's creation.

We went back and forth for weeks, with people posting their evidence (e.g. letters, telegrams, interviews, quotes from Linda, newspaper articles, telegrams from Warner Bros, etc) in support of their different positions.

In light of what we know now, and based on your interviews with Shannon, Linda, Fred Weintraub and Tom Kuhn, what can you tell us about the difference and similarities between Kung Fu and The Warrior?  Do you think Bruce had any input into Kung Fu? And what can we expect to see in the forthcoming The Warrior series produced by Shannon?

Thanks.  Good luck with the book Matthew!
[/quote]

Hey JKD54,
1) The book is getting a great deal of attention and wonderful reviews. The sales are solid. I'd like them to be a little higher, but to be honest this book could do better than Harry Potter and I still wouldn't believe it was enough :) Simon & Schuster is pleased with how the book is doing. I'm going to extend the book tour to San Francisco, Seattle, and LA. So really looking forward to that.

2) So The Warrior v Kung Fu debate is one of the longest running ones in the history of Bruce Lee studies. Based on my reporting, here are my conclusions. Ed Spielman and Howard Friedlander came up with the idea completely on their own. They wrote the screenplay for Fred Weintraub at Warners before any of them had any idea who Bruce Lee was. It was scheduled to be a movie, not a TV show. Fred Weintraub was looking for someone to cast as Kwai Chang Caine. He was introduced to Bruce by his friend Sy Weintraub (no relation), who was one of Lee's private students. Bruce was given the script. I'm certain that Bruce went on at great length about what Fred should do with the script, how to change it and make it better. I'm fairly certain Fred told Bruce these were all amazing idea and then he ignored every one of them and the script was not changed at all. I believe this is how Bruce got it into his head that he had contributed a bunch of amazing idea to the project. I'm sure he told Linda all of this. And she repeated it in her book, which is how this myth got started that Bruce came up with, or at the very least contributed major ideas, to Kung Fu.

The movie version of Kung Fu was killed. Fred got mad and gave the screenplay to Tom Kuhn at Warner TV. Kuhn hired a writer to cut it down (for time and cost) into a 90 minute TV script. Bruce had no part in any of this. He was filming The Big Boss during this period. When Bruce got back from H.K. he found out that Kung Fu was a go project for TV. He was given the opportunity to audition for the lead. Tom Kuhn says that during their 30 minute interview Bruce did not contribute any ideas to the project. They mostly discussed his movie in H.K. and his life. Kuhn rejected Bruce because he felt his accent was too think. (I believe Tom and executives at ABC had already decided, at least subconsciously, that they were not going to cast an Asian actor in the lead).

Ted Ashley, the president of Warners, found out before Bruce that Bruce wasn't going to get the part. He was afraid Bruce would go do a TV series with Paramount. To keep Bruce at Warners, he offered Bruce a $25,000 development deal. Bruce decided to pitch a short treatment for "The Warrior," which was also an Eastern Western like Kung Fu. And this is why it has been so fucking confusing to everyone, and I had to spend six months untangling this mess. In Bruce's notebooks, it is clear he had been toying around with a Western which starred a Chinese hero for years. I'm fairly certain he wrote the short treatment for "The Warrior" after reading the "Kung Fu" screenplay. I have no idea why he believed Warners would make two Eastern Westerns. It seems to me a really dumb idea to pitch the exact same genre of show to the same studio. It certainly made my life more difficult.

Anyway, the major difference between "Kung Fu" and "The Warrior," which were two distinct projects, is the main character. Kwai Chang Caine was a half-American, half-Chinese Shaolin monk who believed in peace and only resorted to violence as a last resort. Ah Sahm, the main character for "The Warrior," was a full Chinese former soldier who liked to kick ass first and take names later, i.e. he was a Bruce Lee character. Otherwise, it was pretty much the same plot: Asian hero helps out oppressed Chinese railroad workers.

I've emailed a couple times with Jonathan Tropper who is the writer for the show, but he hasn't revealed any details. It is Cinemax, so I'm expecting low production values and a high body count. It might be a lot like Bruce's Golden Harvest movies.
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Joined: June 18th, 2018, 1:17 am

July 20th, 2018, 4:43 pm #66

[quote="ELVIS73"]
Hi Polly,
A question I posted a year ago.
Linda said in her 1975 book that Bruce was buried in his Enter the Dragon navy blue silk suit.
Collector Jeff Chinn thought he bought it at auction, but found out it wasn't the real mcoy.
Some say he was buried in his Fist of Fury suit.
I don't feel he was,  because the Seattle open casket shot shows his suit with buttons and not toggles, which his Fist of Fury suit jacket had.
I've always wandered what suit it was.
Many thanks
Tony
[/quote]

Great question. Yes, Linda said he was buried in his Enter the Dragon outfit, because he liked to wear it at home and found it comfortable. Now here's the rub. Water got into the casket when it was being transported by plane from H.K. to Seattle. Bruce's suit got wet and stained the white interior of the coffin. The coffin was changed. I do not know if Bruce's clothes were changed, too. I don't think they were. Andre Morgan didn't mention it in our multiple interviews on the topic, but I never asked him directly. So it is possible he was wearing a different suit for his Seattle funeral than the one he wore for his Hong Kong funeral. I doubt it, but it is possible. I may ask Morgan about it.
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Joined: June 18th, 2018, 1:17 am

July 20th, 2018, 4:51 pm #67

[quote="pathfinder73"]
Hi Matthew

Did you get any possible names on the young male seen at Betty's on the night Bruce died?

Did you read the full Northern Leg, Southern Fist script? Your thoughts please.

Regarding your interview with Nancy Kwan - did she reveal if she playing the role of Bruce's wife or sister in The Game of Death?
[/quote]

Hey Pathfinder,
1) No, I didn't get any name for the young male seen at Betty's apartment. Raymond Chow denied it at the Inquest. When I interviewed him, I didn't bring it up after I realized he wasn't going to change his story. I did not ask Betty because she got really worked up the closer I got to Bruce's death in the timeline. As I mentioned in another post I believe the person was either a Golden Harvest stagehand who Chow called to help him move Bruce to his car to drive to Baptist Hospital (just like on May 10) or it was Betty's brother. But it is an excellent question because it remains a mystery. One that Betty could solve. I'm not sure she ever will.
2) I have a copy of Northern Leg, Southern Fist. It is not a full screenplay. It is 80 pages of notes, thoughts, snatches of dialogue and drawings. My thoughts are Bruce was a much better fight choreographer than he was a screenwriter at this period of his life. I'm sure he would have improved, but based on Northern Leg, Southern Fist he had a ways to go. The Silent Flute, while bizarre, was clearly written by a first-rate screenwriter, Stirling Silliphant. Northern Leg, Southern Fist reads like someone still learning the craft. Overall, it is a far more Chinese script and would have probably been a successful Golden Harvest level movie.
3) Nancy Kwan said she was offered a part in Game of Death. She did not reveal what the part was. My impression was they didn't get to that point, because Bruce hadn't gotten to that point in writing the script. I think they were trying to get her to agree to be part of the movie and then they were going to decide what part she would play. Everything was up in the air as far as the script was concerned as evidenced by the fact that they were going to sign George Lazenby and had no idea how to fit him into the script either.
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Joined: June 18th, 2018, 1:17 am

July 20th, 2018, 4:54 pm #68

[quote="Coliseum1972"]
Oct/Nov/Dec , plemnty of time to film FoF (he was prolly filming on Nov 27th , see b-day cake photo)
[/quote]

Yes, you are probably correct that they started production almost immediately after the premiere of The Big Boss. So very late October or early November in order to get it finished by March 1972.
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Joined: June 18th, 2018, 1:17 am

July 20th, 2018, 4:55 pm #69

This was fun! Thank you everyone for the super smart questions! I will check back in at the end of the day to answer any follow-ups.
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Joined: July 16th, 2003, 11:43 am

July 20th, 2018, 5:09 pm #70

Really appreciate your time on doing this for us Matthew. Thank you for your excellent answers. I will give you one unknown fact not revealed in any book to my knowledge on Bruce. The only friend/student to travel from the US to Bruce's funeral in HK was Peter Chin. He told me this personally over the phone and said at the time money was very tight but he made it to the funeral - the only one to do so!  And as most know, he was also a pallbearer at Bruce's Seattle funeral.
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