The original cut of the movie was so poorly received by audiences that the film had to be extensively re-edited in a desperate attempt to please fans by removing many scenes of Billy Magnussen as Steve McKee, and focusing more on Philip Ng as Bruce Lee.
The character of Steve McKee was based on actor Steve McQueen who studied with Bruce Lee in the late 1960s.
Martial artist, actor, and stuntman Mike Moh campaigned for the role of Bruce Lee in the film.
Despite re-editing the film to minimize the screen time for Billy Magnussen and give more focus on Philip Ng, the film is still centered on Magnussen's character Steve McKee.
Philip Ng shot to fame after starring in Kung Fu TVB drama "A Fist Within Four Walls" with his role as Lung Sing Fu.
Despite being a witness to the real life fight, Bruce's wife Linda Lee Cadwell is never seen in the film, only spoken of.
The ship Jeremiah O'Brien was depicted to be the ship that brought Wong Jack Man to San Francisco when Steve met him at the pier. The Jeremiah O'Brien is an actual restored "liberty ship" from WWII, one of the few remaining in the world, and is a popular "sailing museum" that's docked in San Francisco. In WWII, as a merchant marine vessel, it made numerous Atlantic crossings, and participated in the D-Day invasion at Normandy.
None of the seven people said to have witnessed the real life fight are depicted in the film. On Bruce's side was his wife Linda (who was 8 months pregnant with their son Brandon) and his colleague James Lee. On Wong Jack Man's side were five men he didn't know well, who just came to see the fight, named David Chin, Chan "Bald Head" Keung, Ronald "Ya Ya" Wu, Martin Wong, and Raymond Fong.