This is kind of weird, you guys, but Baz Luhrmann is in talks to direct a big screen adaptation of the ’70s martial arts western TV show Kung Fu for Legendary Pictures. Apparently the production company is eager to amp up their Chinese street cred, so they’re looking to move forward with this and are also in talks with with Zhang Yimou to revive The Great Wall. If they can make a deal, Luhrmann will do a rewrite of the script by Rich Wilkes (XXX).
Kung Fu was about “the adventures of a Shaolin Monk as he wanders the American West armed only with his skill in Kung Fu.” It starred David Carradine and popularized the nickname “young grasshopper,” which is what his mentor called him. This adaptation moves the action to 19th Century China, which makes it less of a Western, I suppose. In this new iteration the main character, Kwai Chang Caine, will be searching for his father. Apparently he will end up in prison and have to fight to survive. So that’s exciting.
I cannot imagine what this film will look like if Luhrmann signs on. I’m still pretty bitter about his interpretation of The Great Gatsby (I am convinced he never read the book), so maybe I can’t be objective right now. I have enjoyed his other films, though. If he took a little of the feel of his Romeo and Juliet, transferred it to 19th century China, and added in some really great Kung Fu fighting (with kicks as fast as lightning), it might be something. All right, I’ve talked myself into it. This could be spectacular. It will at least be a spectacle.