Listen to Tarantino Explain the Bruce Lee Controversy from OUATIH to Joe Rogan

'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'Credit: Sony Pictures
Quentin Tarantino does not shy away from controversy. 

Raconteur director Quentin Tarantino is making the rounds promoting the novelization of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the book that goes along with his movie. 

Fans of the movie will remember that when it came out, Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee, took umbrage with the way Tarantino portrayed her father. In the movie, Lee is cocky, not gun-shy, and also gets his butt kicked by the character Cliff Booth. 

While on the Joe Rogan Podcast, Tarantino addressed the controversy directly and talked a little about Lee's legacy. 

Aside from the crass reference, Tarantino backs up the way he portrayed Lee in the movie with anecdotes from books about Lee and the stories of how he treated American stuntmen while on the Green Hornet. Tarantino stayed the course on his argument, not backing down with the character, portrayal, or the ideas that went into creating that character. 

Tarantino finished with a defense of Cliff and his prowess as a fighter, saying he was an anticipatory fighter who wouldn't have stood a chance in a martial arts tournament. But because they were on the backlot, Cliff was able to surprise Lee and use his hubris against him.

In a passage in the book, the character of Bruce Lee sees that Cliff uses military-style hand-to-hand combat and knows he's facing a killer

Let us know what you think in the comments.      

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Your Comment


If you have to explain a point in your movie after it's come out, then you didn't communicate your point correctly in the movie.

June 29, 2021 at 12:27PM


He didn't have to -- he was asked. And the point he was addressing had nothing to do with the film, but some people's inaccurate perception of Bruce Lee.

June 29, 2021 at 12:44PM

You voted '-1'.

I'd argue that he communicated his point pretty clearly. It's just that a group of people really didn't agree with the point he made.

June 29, 2021 at 12:48PM


Commentators on this web site criticising Quentin Tarantino's film making... LOL

June 29, 2021 at 3:35PM

Nathan T

Tarantino need to understand Bruce Lee's martial art style before making comparison with "military style". Wing Chun which is practice by Lee has become part of military style of fighting, also Lee's fighting style Jeet Kun Do is reactive and streetwise. Tarantino uses current understanding of combat, largely influenced by Lee, and used it against Lee who he typcast as an old fashioned MA person who got his butt kicked.

June 30, 2021 at 2:25AM

Simon Chan
Director of Photography

Bruce wouldn't be looking for Quentin..he would address his behaviour

June 30, 2021 at 12:48PM

director of my life/god's bitch