Kung Fu (1972) blazed a trail for martial arts entertainment, and the TV show that originally starred David Carradine is getting a reboot. Initially put up as a pilot at Fox, the new series was purchased by the CW with a straight to series order. Clearly, the CW has a lot of faith in the show and its star, Olivia Liang. Liang has appeared in other CW offerings, most notably Legacies.
The CW announced the show with the following elevator pitch: “A quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman (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.”
Kung Fu is the gift that keeps on giving. It was originally pitched to Warner Bros. by Bruce Lee. The studio didn’t feel an Asian man could carry a show, and gave the role to Carradine. When the show was a hit, it opened the doors for many martial arts projects. While Lee died the following year, Kung Fu undoubtedly impacted the popularity of his films. Almost 50 years later, Lee’s treatment for Kung Fu would become Cinemax’s Warrior, and now Kung Fu is back—and with an Asian lead, as Lee first envisioned.
Action has come a long way since Kung Fu first made its way into people’s homes back in the early 1970’s. Check out the trailer from 1972.