The classic Kung Fu TV series starring David Carradine is getting a female-led reboot at The CW. Inspired by the original series created by Ed Spielman, the new series is the result of a new collaboration from the Blindspot team of writer Christina M. Kim and creator Martin Gero. In addition to writing the new Kung Fu series, Kim will also be executive producing alongside Gero, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Warner Bros. TV. Kim and Gero are representing Gero's Quinn's House Production Company, while Berlanti and Schechter are working under their Berlanti Prods. Banner.
Additionally, a plot outline for the upcoming Kung Fu reboot has also been revealed. While it may have some inspiration from the original TV series, its modern take on the story will have many differences compared to the 1970's iteration, especially with a gender-swapped lead. The new series will follow a young Chinese-American woman who drops out of college to go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. However, when she finds her hometown overrun with crime nad corruption, she must use 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."
The original Kung Fu series first began airing on television in 1972. It starred Kill Bill star David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, the orphaned son of an American man and a Chinese woman. After killing an Emperor's nephew in retaliation for murdering his mentor, Caine flees to the United States to seek out his family roots. The series concluded in 1975 after airing over 60 episodes, but the franchise would later continue with the 1986 movie follow-up Kung Fu: The Movie, which brought back Carradine as Caine. In 1987, a pilot was filmed for a new TV series dubbed Kung Fu: The Next Generation, though it failed to be picked up. A more successful TV series reboot was introduced in 1993 which brought Carradine back to the franchise one last time, with Kung Fu: The Legend Continues running for four seasons and 88 episodes.
Since the conclusion of The Legend Continues in 1997, the Kung Fu franchise has been inactive, though there have been multiple attempts to revitalize it in the years since. It was reported in 2006 that a new Kung Fu movie was in development, with the idea that it would serve as a prequel to the original series. Over the next several years, Max Makowski, Bill Paxton, and Baz Luhrmann had all been in talks to possibly direct the planned movie, though the project never came to fruition. More recently, two more attempts to resurrect the series as a female-led reboot had also been planned for the past two seasons on Fox, though neither project went to pilot. Finally, the franchise will live once again courtesy of The CW.
It's not clear at this time when production will begin or when we can expect to see the Kung Fu reboot premiering on The CW. Hopefully we'll find out some more information soon, and for fans of the original series and its follow-ups, let's hope the reboot will do the franchise justice. This information comes to us from Deadline.