Legend wrote martial arts epic about the essence of life in 1970 with two Oscar-winners HONG KONG, March 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Hong Kong-born entrepreneur and film producer Jason Kothari has acquired all rights to The Silent Flute, the spiritual martial arts epic co-written by legend Bruce Lee in 1970, and is adapting the project into a special limited series. The Silent Flute film script was a five-year collaboration between Lee and his friends and martial arts students, Oscar-winning writer Stirling Silliphant and Oscar-winning actor James Coburn, that encapsulated Lee's vision for the true essence of martial arts and the meaning of life. It was his greatest and boldest creative passion project that remained unfinished since his unfortunate passing in 1973 and is now being revived by Kothari.
The Silent Flute's story is set in a dystopian future after mankind has suffered from pandemics, fires and civil wars, where all weapons and combat arts are banned. It follows a raw fighter who overcomes grave obstacles and loss to reach enlightenment and become the best fighter in the world.
Jason Kothari, an entrepreneur and executive producer on the Hollywood movie Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel, shortlisted for the 2021 Oscar for Best Visual Effects, is producing the project. Among leading several technology companies, he is the former CEO of Valiant Entertainment, a US-based superhero entertainment company, and was responsible for securing the company's five-movie deal with Sony Pictures. He is also on the Board of various companies, including Balaji Telefilms, one of the largest film and television producers in India. A dedicated martial arts fan who grew up in Hong Kong and is a life-long follower of Bruce Lee, his first job was a production assistant on the film Jackie Chan: My Stunts.
'It is both a privilege and responsibility to realize Bruce Lee's greatest passion project, The Silent Flute. Despite it having been untouched for half a century, the story conveys groundbreaking themes for today, and my ambition is to do justice to the global icon's powerful and inspiring cinematic vision. Having closely studied his life and career, I am committed to bringing together the best talent in the world to make The Silent Flute for millions of Lee's fans and honor him,' Kothari said.
Adapting A Landmark Cinematic Vision Kothari has hired star Hollywood writer John Fusco, who will also serve as an executive producer, to adapt the original script into a limited series. Fusco is the creator of the Netflix series Marco Polo, one of the most expensive series ever made, and the writer of numerous movies, including most recently Netflix's The Highwaymen starring Oscar-winning actors Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson. He has practiced martial arts for nearly 50 years, holds three black belt ranks in three different Asian martial arts and has studied Jeet Kune Do under several of Bruce Lee's former students. Fusco shares Kothari's deep-seated passion for the epic vision for The Silent Flute.
'As a lifelong martial artist and practitioner of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do, the chance to help bring his personal opus to life is an honor and privilege. What Bruce wrote, along with Sterling Silliphant and my late friend James Coburn, was ahead of its time and transcends action drama in profound and provocative ways. What we hope to do is open up the canvas of his story world and honor his vision in the exciting way that epic long-form narrative can do today,' Fusco said.
Matthew Polly, Bruce Lee historian and bestselling author of Bruce Lee: A Life, a definitive biography of the legend, stated, 'The Silent Flute was Bruce Lee's passion project. When he was a struggling actor in late 1960s Hollywood, Lee poured his heart and soul into the martial arts script, believing it was his best shot at becoming America's first Asian superstar. Its failure to gain traction tortured him. Lee spent the rest of his short life trying to get it made, and there is little doubt if he had lived longer, he would have succeeded. Lee's ardent fans have been waiting fifty years to see his original vision properly honored on screen.' Additional Notes: Jason Kothari is represented by lawyers Peter J Dekom and Alan Sacks of Frankfurt Kurnit.
The rights to The Silent Flute were purchased from producer Paul Maslansky, best known for the Police Academy franchise, as well as Sasha Maslansky, Kurt Fehtke and Arlene Howard, who will all be credited as executive producers on the project.