Rebecca S., Here…
Baz Luhrmann the director behind the recent adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” is now in talks with Legendary Pictures (Godzilla, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim) to direct the big screen adaptation of the 1970s martial arts western tv show “Kung Fu”. There are no details as to how far along the talks are or if other directors are being considered. If Luhrmann and legendary make a deal it is likely that the director will start off by rewriting the script that was written by John McLaughlin, the writer behind “Black Swan”.
The T.V. series Kung Fu starred the late David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin monk who traveled to the American West in search of his half brother. The show featured flashbacks to his training as a teen in which his master called him “young grasshopper,” a phrase that has stayed a part of pop culture for over 40 years. The show aired on ABC from 1972 to 1975 and gained a cult following beyond its run. The show was so popular that they brought it back from 1993-1997 with Kung Fu: The Legend Continues that also starred Carradine who fought crime with his police officer son.
According to sources, the current script switches the action to China and finds Caine in search of his father — at one point ending up in a prison where he must fight to survive. Luhrmann is known for elaborate productions and highly stylized storytelling — seen not only in the opulent Gatsby but in productions ranging from Moulin Rouge! to Strictly Ballroom and Romeo+Juliet. He would bring a unique style to a martial arts or a western, it would be interesting to see what he could do with both. One thing is for sure. It will be one very theatrical production of people fighting.