Oscar-nominated filmmaker Shekhar Kapur is set to co-write and direct Bruce Lee biopic, Little Dragon. The 71-year-old, who is the man behind 1998's Elizabeth and 2007's Elizabeth: The Golden Age, will helm the feature film about the martial arts icon's early days in1950s Hong Kong.

"The film will be a contemporary take on Bruce Lee who, aside from being considered the most gifted and famous martial artist of all time, is now accepted as a major philosopher in his own right," Kapur said. "It is important that audiences today can relate their own lives to the journey of Bruce Lee, who manages to tap into his inner wisdom and harness his true destiny, before it's too late."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Little Dragon is an official US-China co-production and will explore the Enter The Dragon star's struggles with "his family's disappointment, young love, true friendship, betrayal, racism, deep hardship and the inner fire that threatens to unravel his destiny."

The Kung fu legend died from a brain aneurysm on 20 July 1973 while filming Game of Death. He was 32.

Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee, who runs Bruce Lee Entertainment, a division of the Bruce Lee Family Company, which is dedicated to promoting and protecting Lee's legacy and ideas, will also co-write and produce the project.

"I always thought that a film about how my father's life was shaped in his early years in Hong Kong would be a worthwhile story to share so we could better understand him as a human being and a warrior," said Shannon Lee in a statement.

A worldwide search is currently underway for an actor to play the talented teenager who would take Hollywood by storm and go down in history as one of the most influential martial artists of all time. Shooting will start this summer in China and Malaysia.

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee died from a brain aneurysm on 20 July 1973 while filming Game of Death