Shannon Lee is “annoyed” Quentin Tarantino didn’t reach out to her before using her father’s likeness in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. She is the gatekeeper of his estate. And over the years, she has shot down many projects and is fiercely protective when it comes to her father’s legacy, which is understandable. However, she does have a reputation in the entertainment industry of sometimes being a bit too overprotective, which she is aware of.
The trailer for Once Upon a Time features Mike Moh as martial arts legend Bruce Lee fighting with Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth. It was a shock for Shannon Lee to see because Quentin Tarantino did not reach out to her for permission. She says that she found it “interesting” to use her father’s likeness in the trailer. Lee had this to say about how she may have gone about it if they had officially asked permission.
“In these instances, there are a lot of different ways you can go. 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.'”
When it comes to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood specifically, Shannon Lee knows Quentin Tarantino reached out to others to get permission. One of which was the family of the late Sharon Tate, who is played by Margot Robbie in the movie. Lee does not appreciate the fact that Tarantino did not reach out to her. She explains.
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“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.”
While she’s not happy about Quentin Tarantino featuring Bruce Lee in his upcoming movie, it doesn’t sound like Shannon Lee is going to pursue anything legally. Lee doesn’t know any of the details behind Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and only hopes that the movie is good and portrays her father in the best light. We’ll all find out soon enough when the movie hits theaters next month.
Roman Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner also announced her displeasure with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, noting that Polanski was not approached or asked about his likeness being used in the movie. Seigner feels it’s a bit hypocritical that the entertainment industry will have an actor portray Polanski on the big screen, but they won’t have anything to do with him in real-life. Shannon Lee knows why she wasn’t approached and she seems to be okay with it for now. The interview with Shannon Lee was originally conducted by Deadline.