Baz Luhrmann Eyes Big Screen Remake of ‘Kung Fu’

Now this is a curious combination as THR reports Baz Luhrmann of all people is in talks to direct Kung Fu for Legendary Pictures. The project is a big-screen adaptation of the 1970s martial arts Western television show that 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 Caine’s training as a teen in which his master called him “young grasshopper.” THR reports a source saying the current script, written by John McLaughlin (Black Swan), 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. Cory Goodman (Priest) and Rich Wilkes (xXx) have written previous drafts of the screenplay and Bill Paxton was, at one time, attached to direct back in 2011.

Luhrmann will do a rewrite on the script is a deal is made, and considering we’re talking about the director of Strictly BallroomMoulin Rouge!Australia and The Great Gatsby, this seems like an incredibly different piece of material for him to tackle. Then again, his heightened level of filmmaking may be just what a remake of this property needs if it is to differentiate itself from the original TV series and be considered a true remake. I only wonder if it will include grand musical numbers or how he’ll manage to inject popular culture into yet another period piece, this one a martial arts-driven western. Could be interesting.


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