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Trivia / Game of Death

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  • Alan Smithee: Robert Clouse wrote the script under the pseudonym Jan Spears.
  • Died During Production: Bruce Lee scheduled to continue working on the film in September 1973 but he died in July, so the film remained unfinished.
  • Missing Episode: Currently 42 minutes of footage has been found and made public. More scenes might exist in the archives that will probably never be found. A documentary called Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey made in the early 2000's managed to find and piece together as much of the footage as they could find (which includes all of the fight footage from the upper three levels of the pagoda) but also reveals for the first time the movie's original plot, based on Lee's outlines and sketches.
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  • Playing Against Type: Dean Jagger, best known for playing cuddly grandfather types, plays the Big Bad.
  • Posthumous Credit: Bruce Lee passed away a month before Enter the Dragon was released. He had been working on this prior to his death and it was released five years later with the story rewritten and many of his scenes comprised of Stock Footage from his previous films.
  • Romance on the Set: Gig Young met his fifth and final wife Kim Schmidt in Hong Kong while working on this movie. Tragically, three weeks after they were married the couple was found dead, the apparent result of a Murder-Suicide by Young.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: Several around this film because it was never finished.
    • There are many rumors about more scenes that were filmed (like alleged fights in the car park or at the airport) that are supposedly either destroyed or in the hands of private collectors.
    • There are many rumors that the pagoda has more than five floors plus the ground level, and about other fighters Bruce Lee meets, like mutants, samurais, dragons, ninjas... None of these are true.
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    • There is a persistent rumor that the film is a sequel to Way of the Dragon. This is disproved by the character names (Hai Tien in Game of Death and Tang Long in Way of the Dragon) and different characterizations of the two (Hai Tien shows much less remorse than Tang Lung).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Before Lee's death, this would have been a mix between an action movie and a martial arts educational movie. The action side involved a character named Hai Tien (played by Lee) who has to save his sister by giving his captors what they believe to be treasure at the top of a pagoda. The educational side was to showcase the different single styles of martial arts through each pagoda level and how Lee's own concept of Jeet Kune Do irons out many flaws in said styles. The producers changed to whole plot after Lee's death to a generic revenge story with an evil syndicate.
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    • Lee considered several actors, but their scenes were never filmed. These include: George Lazenby, Nora Miao, Hwang In-shik, Taky Kimura, Blo Yeung, Betty Ting Pei, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Bob Wall, and Jackie Chan. The last three of them appear in the 1978 version, but they don't reprise their intended roles.
    • The door to the pagoda was meant to be guarded by ten fighters with black belts in Karate, whom Lee would have to fight to get inside. The first and second floors were meant to be guarded respectively by Hwang In-shik, who would utilize a unique kicking style, and Taky Kimura, a master of praying mantis kung fu.
    • Other actors that worked together with Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Muhammad Ali were offered roles in the 1978 film but turned them down. Only Dan Inosanto reprised his original role. Steve McQueen (Actor) and James Coburn, friends and students of Lee, were offered roles, but refused due to finding the film in bad taste and the low pay Golden Harvest was offering.
    • From the finalized movie proper, producers initially wanted noted Bruce Lee Clone "Bruce Li" (real name Ho Chung Tao) to portray Billy Lo in the new footage alongside Kim Tai Chung. Presumably sharing the screen depending on who looked most like Bruce at specific angles. However, Li was three years into his career as a "leading" man and fed up with playing in Brucealike roles (making an exception for numerous biopics where he's obviously an actor playing Bruce and not trying to fool audiences) and turned down the opportunity.