BEIJING, April 10 (Xinhua) -- China's national broadcaster, China Central Television, has started shooting a 40-part television series on the country's most legendary Kungfu master Bruce Lee.
The dramatic series, "The Legend of Bruce Lee," with a budget of 50-million-yuan (6.4 million U.S. dollars) started production over the weekend in Shunde in southern Guangdong Province, hometown of the world-famous martial arts superstar.
The production will also shoot in Hong Kong and the United States where Lee starred in many blockbuster Kungfu movies.
Lee made 46 Kungfu movies. He died at age 32 in 1973, while starring and directing the movie "Game of Death" in Hong Kong.
Chan Kwok-kwan, who plays Lee, said he has mixed feelings about playing the role of an icon.
"I'm nervous and also excited, but I will do my best."
Chan, the Bruce Lee look-alike Hong Kong actor, says Lee has been his role model ever since he was a kid and he has practiced Kungfu for many years.
Chan Kwok-kwan got the role because Lee's wife and daughter, who were consulted on the casting for the series, were impressed by his physical likeness to the late star, local media reported.
He played a goalkeeper wearing Lee's signature yellow tracksuit and imitated the late star's gestures and expressions in Stephan Chow Sing-chi's martial arts comedy "Shaolin Soccer" in 2001.
He was best known for appearing in the action comedy "Kung Fu Hustle" as a gang leader, also directed by Stephan Chow, in 2004.
The TV play is due to be aired in 2008, the year Beijing hosts the Olympic Games.
China had asked the International Olympic Committee to include Kungfu in the Beijing Olympics but was turned down. According to Wang Xiaolin, chairman of the China Martial Arts Association, the Beijing Olympic Committee will organize a separate Kungfu contest at the same time the formal competitions are being held in August next year.