Circle of Iron is a martial arts-themed fantasy film written by Stirling Silliphant, Stanley Mann, James Coburn, and Bruce Lee. Lee planned to star in the film but died before filming began. The film follows the adventures of Cord (Jeff Cooper), a lone martial artist seeking the Book of Enlightenment. During the film Cord encounters characters who offer challenges that he must complete in order to move on with his quest. These characters include Death, a monkey chieftain, a blind flute-player, and a gypsy (all played by Christopher Lee). Cord is also required to solve mysteries and riddles that educate him in the Zen philosophy before the story's completion. Bruce Lee meant for Circle of Iron to teach Western society about basic Eastern philosophy, and the film was also intended to outline some of the differences between Eastern and Western thinking. The film was directed by Richard Moore and released in 1978.