Director David Leitch has made a name for himself helming some of the most stylish action films of recent years. He made his directorial debut and launched an action franchise as the co-director on John Wick and he followed that up with Atomic Blonde and the hugely successful Deadpool 2. Then this past summer he took on his biggest project yet with the first Fast and Furious spinoff Hobbs and Shaw. Now David Leitch has found his Hobbs and Shaw follow-up, and it’s a remake.
David Leitch will direct a theatrical remake of Kung Fu according to Deadline. Universal Pictures optioned the rights to the 1972 television series that starred David Carradine and ran for three seasons, spawning a TV movie and a sequel series two decades later, not to mention a new TV series on the way. Now the legend will continue once more with a new feature film.
There is no cast attached to the film as of yet, nor is there much indication of what the story will be. However, Deadline notes that David Leitch’s remake will be a contemporary-set action film, so it will not be a period piece like the original Kung Fu TV series. Universal Pictures is looking to attach a writer quickly to get the project rolling.
The original Kung Fu told the story of David Carradine’s Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin monk and master martial artist who flees China when his master, Master Po is killed. The series finds him in the American Old West where he eludes his pursuers and helps the unfortunate, usually by fighting bad guys.
Although many haven’t seen the show, its cultural impact endures. David Carradine was clearly cast in Kill Bill in part because of Kung Fu and if you’ve ever heard anyone say “patience young grasshopper”, whether they know it or not, they are borrowing from the 1972 series and what Master Po would say to Caine.
The basic concept of the story of Kung Fu should plug and play fairly well regardless of the time period, as evidenced with the modern-set Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, but it will be interesting to see how this remake approaches the story and what new things it will bring to the table. If nothing else, David Leitch’s proven action chops pretty much guarantee that the new Kung Fu will be a spectacle and a must see for fans of action and martial arts movies.
This isn’t the only iconic martial arts property David Leitch is attached to either. The director is also attached to remake the 1973 Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon for Warner Bros. Remaking that classic is extremely ill advised, but Kung Fu is an exciting project for David Leitch to tackle.
We’ll keep you updated on the Kung Fu remake when we hear more. In the meantime, check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what movies are headed to theaters this year.