Baz Luhrmann May Direct a Big Screen Reboot of 70's Show 'Kung Fu'
Wait - does that sound right? Baz Luhrmann and Kung Fu? Well, this is certainly something interesting to talk about. THR is reporting that Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann is now in talks to direct a big screen reboot, or a re-adaptation, of the 1970s martial arts western TV show Kung Fu, which starred David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine. Luhrmann most recently brought an extravagant, music-filled adaptation of The Great Gatsby to the big screen last summer, and it sounds like this may be next for him at Legendary Pictures if things come together. It isn't finalized yet, but could be a fun chance for Luhrmann to branch out.
The project, with no other title other than Kung Fu so far, comes with a script by Rich Wilkes (of Airheads, xXx Trilogy, Punk Like Me, Iron Fist). In development at Legendary Pictures, the "big-screen adaptation" is one of the many projects they've launched that involves, and will shoot in, China. THR adds that "according to sources, the current script switches the action to China, sees Caine go in search of his father -- at one point ending up in a prison where he must fight to survive." If Luhrmann gets on board, he'll take a pass at the script and rework it to his liking, but likely still set in China. Luhrmann's filmography includes Great Gatsby, Australia, Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet, Strictly Ballroom, but not much martial arts action yet.
The original TV show being adapted, Kung Fu, starred David Carradine as a Shaolin monk who came to the American West in search of his half-brother. The show aired for three seasons on ABC from 1972 to 1975 and often used flashbacks to show Caine's training, where he was called "young grasshopper" which is when that first hit pop culture. It is a classic show with a cult following and could work well with a respectful, attentive update. To be honest, I didn't expect this to hit the big screen, but I am unquestionably curious to see what Baz Luhrmann, of all people, will do with a modernized take on Kung Fu. We'll keep an eye on this.