The 70s TV series Kung Fu could be making a comeback, apparently sans a White actor in yellow face.
The WB has ordered a pilot of the proposed show with many changes from the original.
For one thing, the central character this time will be a woman.
The CW product found its star in Olivia Liang of Legacies. In the original, producers yellow-faced David Carradine in a role meant for martial arts legend Bruce Lee.
In the remade Kung Fu, a quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese American woman, Nicky Chen (Liang), to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice — all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.
Liang’s casting in the CW/Warner Bros. Kung Fu pilot comes on the heels of her joining the network and studio’s drama series Legacies as a recurring earlier this season. She plays Alyssa Chang on The Vampire Diaries offshoot. Liang’s previous credits include Dating After College and guest shots on Grey’s Anatomy and One Day at a Time. She guest stars on the current second season of Hulu’s Into the Dark.
Executive producer Christina M. Kim, who wrote for Lost and Blindspot, will also pen the new series. Besides starring Carradine, the original Kung Fu, was reportedly first pitched by Bruce Lee. His idea was rejected – reportedly because producers couldn’t accept an Asian as the hero — but elements of his idea made it into the Kung Fu series. The series Warrior, which premiered last year, is reportedly closer to Lee’s original idea which takes place amid the Tong Wars in 19th Century San Francisco’s Chinatown and Barbary Coast.
If successful, we could see Kung Fu on the air sometime in the 2020-2021 television season.
The concept also could be made into a movie. Comicbook.com reports Universal Picture is preparing to turn the show into a big screen movie.
Director David Leitch who previously directed Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde, and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is pegged to lead this project.
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