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Baz Luhrmann may direct an adaptation of classic 70s TV series Kung Fu

04.11.2014

When Baz Luhrmann announced he would be making a 3D version of THE GREAT GATSBY, I didn't bat an eye. After seeing the director take ROMEO + JULIET and translate it to a world of gang-bangers and gunplay, I was ready for anything. So the news that he may next helm a big budget adaptation of the classic David Carradine TV series KUNG FU doesn't shock me in the least.

KUNG FU is being produced by Legendary Pictures who had no comment on The Hollywood Reporter news that Luhrmann may join the project. The site does claim that KUNG FU would be rewritten by Luhrmann if he came aboard. The current draft of the screenplay was penned by Rich Wilkes (XXX).

Kung Fu starred David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin monk who came 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 stuck in the pop culture lexicon. The show aired on ABC from 1972 to 1975 and gained a cult following beyond its run.

Carradine played the lead in the television series that was developed by Bruce Lee who intended to star before network executives decided to cast a Caucasian in the role. The show spawned a second series in the 1990s and Carradine was a cult figure long after until his untimely death a few years ago.

The new version of KUNG FU is expected to follow a similar story but be set in China versus America with Caine at one point imprisoned and forced to fight to stay alive. This could be part of Hollywood's push into international markets with films shot and set in Asia.

Luhrmann is definitely a unique choice to direct a film like this. His hyperkinetic style and flair for using modern music in period films could result in something along the lines of DJANGO UNCHAINED. I would have to say I am intrigued to see how this project turns out.

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9:38AM on 04/17/2014

I just hope they cast asians in this

I hate seeing movie adaptations of Avatar (Air bender) and Dragonball Z get white washed with casting
I hate seeing movie adaptations of Avatar (Air bender) and Dragonball Z get white washed with casting
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8:30PM on 04/12/2014

A few musical numbers wouldn't hurt.

You know he will go full "Crouching Tiger" on this. All billowing robes and petals falling from the sky...
Yeah, I'm in on it.
You know he will go full "Crouching Tiger" on this. All billowing robes and petals falling from the sky...
Yeah, I'm in on it.
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8:18AM on 04/12/2014
The thing about the original series is that for a show that called itself Kung Fu and the main character was supposed to be a former Shaolin monk, there wasn't that much Shaolin kung fu in it. It was more like tai chi.
The thing about the original series is that for a show that called itself Kung Fu and the main character was supposed to be a former Shaolin monk, there wasn't that much Shaolin kung fu in it. It was more like tai chi.
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4:32AM on 04/12/2014
The 70s series was so good I remember loving it as a kid. Not sure what I think about this though.
The 70s series was so good I remember loving it as a kid. Not sure what I think about this though.
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10:32PM on 04/11/2014
I'm curious to see how Luhrmann handles martial arts action sequences, but sensory overload is his stock in trade and I'm skeptical because of that.
I'm curious to see how Luhrmann handles martial arts action sequences, but sensory overload is his stock in trade and I'm skeptical because of that.
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4:36PM on 04/11/2014
Sounds fun to me. Baz has great visual and musical flair, Romeo&Juliet and Moulin Rouge had some great parts. Him filming martial arts could be interesting. So white kung fu man goes walkabout in china? Or would the cast be all chinese?
Sounds fun to me. Baz has great visual and musical flair, Romeo&Juliet and Moulin Rouge had some great parts. Him filming martial arts could be interesting. So white kung fu man goes walkabout in china? Or would the cast be all chinese?
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4:35PM on 04/11/2014
First I wasn't into this at all, but then I read that the writer of xXx wrote a draft. Welcome to the Xander zone indeed...
First I wasn't into this at all, but then I read that the writer of xXx wrote a draft. Welcome to the Xander zone indeed...
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4:33PM on 04/11/2014

Don't write Baz off yet, because...

... he's not a one-trick pony. I know most people didn't love AUSTRALIA, but it showed that he can put aside his bombastic style when making a genre movie.
... he's not a one-trick pony. I know most people didn't love AUSTRALIA, but it showed that he can put aside his bombastic style when making a genre movie.
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3:48PM on 04/11/2014
This has 'career suicide' written all over it. Funny how Romeo + Juliet, the Great Gatsby and even Django were mentioned... is there... a possible lead choice already in mind...? Is there...??

Meh, you never know. I mean, *cough* Leo *cough* is an amazing actor and he could bring his usual A-game to this.
This has 'career suicide' written all over it. Funny how Romeo + Juliet, the Great Gatsby and even Django were mentioned... is there... a possible lead choice already in mind...? Is there...??

Meh, you never know. I mean, *cough* Leo *cough* is an amazing actor and he could bring his usual A-game to this.
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