Bruce Lee wrote a treatment for The Silent Flute before passing in 1973, and Variety tells us that Paul Malansky (the Police Academy franchise) is now developing the film. Between this and the upcoming RZA kung-fu flick, Hollywood may be commencing a martial arts movie revival.
Malansky, whose taken on the role of executive producer for The Silent Flute, had this to say about the film:
“‘The Silent Flute’ will be an epic martial arts adventure film that promises to honor Bruce Lee’s original artistic and philosophical conception… It also promises to reach new levels of action and adventure never before seen in martial arts filmmaking.”
Plenty of folks would raise an eyebrow at that last part, especially because he gave no details as to exactly how he’s gonna pull off this feat. For a better sense of the story, it might be helpful to know that Malansky made an earlier version of the movie, called Circle of Iron, in 1978. Here’s an unofficial plot synopsis for Circle of Iron from IMDb:
“A young martial artist, Cord the Seeker, competes for and loses the right to go on a quest for the Book of All Knowlege held by a wizard named Zetan, but he goes along the path to seek Zetan anyway. Along the way, he meets strange tests and challenges by enemies and allies – often having difficulty determining which is which.”
That sounds good to me. The lead’s trials reportedly provided an education in Zen philosophy. That also piques my interest, but the fact that the source material was already used takes some of the wind out of The Silent Flute‘s sails. Although, people don’t seem to mind Hendrix’s version of All Along the Watchtower… you do it right and the new version of something old can turn out really spectacular.
The screenplay is being adapted from original work done by the executive producer’s son, Sasha Malansky (who appeared in Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, but doesn’t have any listed writing credits). Sasha is also producing.
No director or actors are listed as being attached as of yet.
No word on when The Silent Flute will be in theaters.
Source: Variety, imdb