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

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.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.