As a result of the less-than-flattering portrayal of legendary martial artist Bruce Lee in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a feud has spawned between director Quentin Tarantino and Lee’s daughter Shannon. Previously, Shannon voiced her displeasure in Tarantino including her father as a character in the movie, despite not reaching out to her first. Tarantino has also since doubled down on his decision to include Bruce in the movie, leaving Shannon once again disappointed with the filmmaker.
“He could shut up about it,” Shannon says in response to Tarantino’s latest comments. “That would be really nice. Or he could apologize or he could say, ‘I don’t really know what Bruce Lee was like. I just wrote it for my movie. But that shouldn’t be taken as how he really was.'”
In particular, Shannon is reacting to comments Quentin Tarantino reportedly made at a Moscow press junket. Responding to criticism about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood depicting Bruce Lee as cocky and arrogant, Tarantino says the portrayal from actor Mike Moh is actually spot-on.”The way he was talking, I didn’t just make a lot of that up I heard him say things like that, to that effect,” Tarantino explained. He adds: “If people are saying, ‘Well he never said he could beat up Muhammad Ali,’ well yeah, he did. Not only did he say that, but his wife, Linda Lee, said that in her first biography I ever read. She absolutely said that.”
Apparently, Tarantino’s claim isn’t entirely accurate. The book he’s referring to, Bruce Lee: The Man I Only Knew, does contain the line, “Those who watched Bruce Lee would bet on Lee to render Cassius Clay senseless,” but it’s not from Lee’s widow Linda – it’s actually a quote from a critic. In any case, while Shannon Lee acknowledges Tarantino has the right to write in a fictionalized version of her father into his movie, she remains unhappy with the way he went about it. “[Tarantino] can portray Bruce Lee however he wanted to, and he did. But it’s a little disingenuous for him to say, ‘Well this is how he was, but this is a fictional movie, so don’t worry too much about it,'” she adds.
Concerns over Bruce Lee’s portrayal aside, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is already shaping up to be another big success for Tarantino. The movie has already grossed over $100 million at the box office, and its critical reception has been largely positive. Set in 1969 Los Angeles, the movie features an ensemble cast with multiple storylines which explore what life was like in the golden age of Hollywood. As the infamous Manson Family murders are touched on in the story, Margot Robbie appears as celebrity victim Sharon Tate. Also starring are Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, and Al Pacino.
As a Hollywood actor, Lee was at the start of his career by the time period shown in Tarantino’s movie. He appeared as Kato on the classic superhero shows The Green Hornet and Batman before making his big screen debut in the 1969 movie Marlowe with James Garner. Feel free to enjoy his portrayal in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but maybe it’s best to take it with a grain of salt. This news comes to us from Variety.