On Friday, Deadline broke the news that martial arts legend Bruce Lee will finally get his very own anime series.
House of Lee, created by Lee’s daughter, Shannon, and the Beijing-based anime studio Shockunit Studio, is an action fantasy series that follows Lee as he assembles a team of warriors to prevent the world from plunging “too far into darkness and shadow.” According to Deadline, the premise of the upcoming anime takes inspiration from a Bruce Lee quote: “Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.” You can check out the trailer, which’ll be shownat special 50th anniversary screenings of Lee’s classic film Enter the Dragon, taking place in select theaters from August 13 through August 16, below.
Speaking with Deadline, Shannon Lee revealed that she decided to partner with Shibuya, a content platform that assists artists in funding their films, after viewing a screening of its anime short, White Rabbit.
“Anime is an amazing medium for telling a truly creative story where Bruce Lee can be Bruce Lee,” Shannon told Deadline. “I’m so excited for the possibilities for action, fantasy, history, culture, and creativity within this medium.”
Aftter meeting Shibuya co-founder and White Rabbit artist Emily Yang, Shannon said that she thought the community-funded short “spoke volumes” about the potential for their own collaboration on House of Lee, which Shibuya and Bruce Lee Entertainment are producing independently through support from a community campaign.
Upon hearing about the vision for House of Lee, Yang said, “I found myself immediately resonating with the narrative as it touches on themes of spirituality, the battle against your inner demons, and so many aspects of the AAPI experience. It being such a personal story, Shannon wanted to really retain creative control and ownership. At Shibuya, our mission is to help creators do just that and so I knew this was something we had to be a part of.”
Since Lee’s passing in 1973, the martial arts icon has inspired a superabundance of characters in fighting games and anime. House of Lee’s announcement is poetic in a way, considering the Hong Kong-American star inspired many of anime’s most beloved characters, such as Rock Lee from Naruto. We already know Lee’s live-action feature films like The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, and The Way of the Dragon kick all kinds of ass. Time will tell if House of Lee brings the same kind of energy to adapting Lee’s lightning-fast kicks and titular wataahs.
House of Lee is slated to release in 2024.