‘Kung Fu’ is Coming to Big Screen…From ‘Great Gatsby’ Director Baz Luhrmann?
When you think about martial arts epics, the last name that comes to mind is Baz Luhrmann, the man behind movies like ‘The Great Gatsby‘ and ‘Moulin Rouge.’ But maybe that’s why he’s an inspired choice for ‘Kung Fu,’ which will revive the beloved ’70s television series and bring it to the big screen.
As scholars of TV history know, the ‘Kung Fu’ followed a wandering warrior monk named Caine, who journeyed across the American Wild West solving all kinds of problems and getting involved in all kinds of predicaments. The show was a touchstone for many filmmakers — there’s a reason Quentin Tarantino cast series star David Carradine as the main bad guy in the ‘Kill Bill’ films.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Luhrmann is still in talks, but if he takes the gig, he’ll rewrite the screenplay by ‘XXX’ writer Rich Wilkes. As it stands right now, the film will abandons the Old West setting of the series and moves the focus to China, were the new Caine will be seeking his long-lost father instead of a long-lost half brother. In other words, it’s not just a reboot of the original series, but a weird mirror reflection of it.
But what does a Lurhmann-directed ‘Kung Fu’ look like? Known for his gaudy production design and digital sets, he’s a left field choice, with the closest point of comparison being his disastrous romantic epic ‘Australia.’ When given the right material, Luhrmann can make a great movie (his ‘Gatsby’ really is terrific) and maybe something so far from his comfort zone is exactly what he needs to impress us once again.