I read a few days ago that Director Brett Ratner is playing with the idea of remaking one of the greatest Martial Arts movies of all time, "Enter the Dragon". The gem in the Bruce Lee collection of Martial Arts Masterpieces. I gotta admit, it got my attention.
I'm a child of the 80's and like every other kid during the Kung Fu craze, I would race to the TV set on Saturday afternoon to watch Martial Arts Theatre. When a Bruce Lee movie was on, you couldn't wait for 3pm. Bruce Lee was the greatest martial arts hero of all time to us. There wasn't many who had that special aura, both in life and in death quite like Bruce Lee. It's the stuff of legend.
So when I heard the chatter about remaking "Enter the Dragon" I was kinda in between; on one side I don't want to see them screw it up, on the other side my curiosity on how a modern telling of the story would be nice.
So I'm going to let my curiosity run amuk and talk about a possible cast. We begin with Bruce's character, Lee. I'm still up in the air about this one, because you just don't bless someone with this role without thinking it through. So I have offered two choices based on a balance of acting and martial arts skill.
Tony Jaa "Ong Bak" has this look to him that puts him in the "vein" of Bruce Lee. Slim and deadly, with a skill that's awesome on screen. If you doubt me, just watch one of his flicks.
Another actor that can possibly fill the role is Jung Ji-Hoon, better known as "Rain". He has the look and the build to fulfill the role. His "Ninja Assassin" work was badass.
Tough job? Yep! It ain't going to be a walk in the park ton find someone to play Lee and they may have to think outside the box. Let's look at the rest of the cast.
You can rest assured that there is no better actor to replace John "Roper" Saxon than Jason Statham. I would take that to the bank my friends.
Finding someone to cast as "Williams", Jim Kelly's role will be a challenging task. You want someone that can ease in like Jim Kelly did, and have the physical skill to play the role in a remake.
You can go the solid route with Michael Jai White. You can't go wrong with him and he's a seasoned action veteran.
You can go the sentimental route and cast Bruce Leroy himself, Taimak. As a "Last Dragon" fan myself, it would be cool to see him in the remake.
He looked good in the "Expendables",Wesley Snipes can play Williams too. His fighting skill is well known and the man can act! He can make it work.
O'hara, who the hell can play him? Robert Wall was awesome in the original role. This menacing figure and heartless villain needs someone with a killer edge to play the role.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Need I say more?
You need a woman who can command sexiness the way Ahna Capri did with Tania. Luckily for you, I have two ladies in mind.
Monica Bellucci can pull it off. She embodies the elements that make Tania who she is in "Enter the Dragon".
Salma Hayek can also pull it off. She can spice it like no other.
Mei Ling can be played by Maggie Q.
The easiest role to fill in my opinion would be that of Han. The two guys I found would own the role, most definately.
Jackie Chan can play the Shaolin trained Monk gone evil! Mind the fact that Jackie was one of Hans henchmen in the original. Jet Li is another one who can play Han and match up well onscreen blow for blow with Lee! Either one of these two Martial Arts legends would play Han very well!
Now for Bolo, that might need some adjusting. You'll need someone from the UFC if you want an actor/fighter with the body mass and skill like a Bolo Yeung. If you don't mind a little less mass, I like Rick Yune for the role.
Enter the Dragon and every other Bruce Lee movie has a special place in pop culture history, and nothing will ever change that. Brett Ratner would have a tall mountain to climb with a huge shadow on everything underneath with a remake.
Yet, for the sake of the story, I wouldn't mind seeing a modern telling of Enter the Dragon. So while we wait to see if Brett Ratner pulls the trigger, I leave you with this reminder of why Enter the Dragon will still be all about Bruce Lee.