Shannon Lee, daughter of acting and martial arts legend Bruce Lee, has revealed to Deadline that Quentin Tarantino never reached out to contact her before or during the making of his latest film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” The 1969-set feature stars Mike Moh (“Marvel’s Inhumans”) as Bruce Lee, who plays a key role in the film alongside main characters Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). Shannon Lee is in charge of her father’s estate.
“In these instances, there are a lot of different ways you can go,” Lee said. “If they contacted me, I could be completely unreasonable and a pain in the ass and make all kinds of ridiculous demands — but they don’t know that I’m not going to do that. A lot of times, the best practice is ‘we’ll just stay away from that so we don’t have to even open that can of worms.’”
Lee continued, “With Tarantino’s film, to not have been included in any kind of way, when I know that he reached out to other people but did not reach out to me, there’s a level of annoyance — and there’s part of me that says this is not worth my time and my energy. Let’s just see how the universe deals with this one.”
Tarantino has already gone on record saying he consulted with Sharon Tate’s sister and got her blessing before including the late model and actress in his film. Sony Pictures is behind “Hollywood” and used a scene of Moh’s Bruce Lee fighting with Pitt’s character in the first trailer.
Roman Polanski is another real-life figure who appears in “Hollywood,” although Tarantino confirmed at Cannes that he did not consult with the controversial filmmaker at any point during production. Polanski’s wife, French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, recently called out “Hollywood” for using her husband’s likeness despite the fact that Polanski remains a pariah in Hollywood because of his 1977 rape trial.
Shannon Lee appears to understand why she might not be contacted by Tarantino’s team but remains slightly annoyed nonetheless. Lee told Deadline she’s hopeful Tarantino incorporated Bruce Lee into the “Hollywood” narrative in a respectful manner.
Sony will open “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” nationwide July 26.