In 1972, Warner Bros. Television premiered on ABC a rather unique take on the American Western story. Its protagonist was a Chinese-American exile from the Shaolin Temple, who fled China with a price on his head to Old West-era America to find his American half-brother, using his martial arts skills to help the defenseless against outlaws and oppressors. “Kung Fu” starred the late David Carradine, who once revealed that his role was originally proposed for Bruce Lee, who in turn remarked that he conceptualized the show and that Warner Bros. stole his idea. Whatever the case, “Kung Fu” became a classic that spawned several spinoffs, and now The CW is picking up its reboot pilot.
The Hollywood Reporter tells us that The CW has ordered to pilot the long in-development reboot of the classic martial arts western series “Kung Fu.” The reimagining of this show is being executively produced by none other than Greg Berlanti of “Arrow” and “Arrow-verse” fame, while the creative team will be from NBC crime drama “Blindspot,” which has been announced to end at its fifth season, though no date for it was announced following the season 4 finale in 2019.
When it was said that “Kung Fu” would be reimagined, that was no understatement. For one thing, the male exiled Shaolin priest portrayed by David Carradine will be a woman instead, though she will still be Chinese-American. The reboot was initially tackled by FOX TV in 2018 before it was passed over to The CW, which started its development anew on November of last year. “Blindspot” writer Christina M. Kim will work on the storyline while that series’ show-runner Martin Gero joins Berlanti as executive producer. All three are collectively involved in the NBC show.
While The CW is expecting to put the pilot episode of “Kung Fu” on their lineup sometime this year, it is looking to be a tight fit considering that the network has renewed all of its ongoing series that were not explicitly on their last seasons, such as most of the “Arrow-verse” but the original show. “Kung Fu” will be in contention for a place in the programming with three other series: “Republic of Sarah” from “Elementary” writer Jeffrey Paul King, new “Arrow-verse” spinoff “Green Arrow and the Canaries,” and a prequel to post-apocalyptic sci-fi show “The 100” entitled “Anaconda.” It has been quite the busy time for Greg Berlanti, who counts “Kung Fu” as his fourth series order for the packed 2020-21 TV season.
Image courtesy of Bleeding Cool