The CW has ordered a reboot of the David Carradine classic Kung Fu. However, given it’s The CW it comes with a gender-swap of the main character.
The Kung Fu reboot will star actress Olivia Liang in the main role. Liang previously played Alyssa Chang on The CW’s Vampire Diaries spin-off Legacies.
As reported by Deadline, she will play a young Chinese-American who is having a quarter-life crisis and drops out of college to travel to an isolated monastery in China.
She eventually returns home and discovers her home has been overrun with crime and corruption. She will use her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice.
While she’s bringing criminals to justice, she will also be on the hunt for an assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.
The synopsis reads like Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. Following the trial of his parents’ murderer, Bruce decides to abandon his life and home in Gotham to explore what it is like to have nothing. He eventually ends up in a Bhutan prison where he is recruited to join the League of Shadows. From there he trains under Ra’s al Ghul in a number of martial arts, sword fighting, and the art of the ninja.
He eventually returns to Gotham and takes on the persona of Batman to fight the corruption that has infected the city and bring criminals to justice. While protecting the city, he uncovers a sinister plot to destroy the city from his former mentor. Not only that, but he discovers the murder of his parents were borne from Ra’s al Ghul’s previous plans to destroy the city.
After discovering Ra’s al Ghul’s plot to destroy Gotham and his connection to his parents’ death, Batman does everything in his power to stop him even while he’s being targeted by Ra’s al Ghul’s cronies like Scarecrow.
Not only does this Kung Fu series sound like a ripoff of Batman Begins, but it’s a massive departure from the original show.
In the Kung Fu show from the 1970s David Carradine plays Kwai Chang Caine, the orphaned son of an American man and Chinese woman in 19th century China. Caine is accepted into a Shaolin monastery and trains as a priest and martial arts expert following the death of his maternal grandfather.
His mentor is killed by the Emperor’s nephew. He retaliates and slays the nephew and is forced to flee to the western United States with a price on his head. While in the United States he begins his search for his family’s roots and his half-brother Danny Caine.
Kung Fu was part of the 70s Kung Fu martial arts exposition in entertainment that was ushered in by late the great Bruce Lee.
Kung Fu will join The CW’s other new series in Superman & Lois, The Republic of Sarah, and Walker for the 2020-2021 season.
Along with Liang, the show will also star Kheng Hua Tan, Shannon Dang, Jon Prasida, Eddie Liu, Gavin Stenhouse, Gwedonline Yeo, and Tzi Ma.
The show is written by Christina M. Kim. Kim will also serve as executive producer alongside Martin Gero, the Arrowverse’s Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and David Madden.
Hanelle Culpepper will also executive produce and will direct.
Kung Fu is the latest in a string of reboots from Hollywood that are gender-swapping the main characters. Back in 2018 ABC originally announced they were going to reboot The Greatest American with a gender-swapped lead. The show would never make it to TV.
The BBC Dracula series also gender-swapped a traditionally male character, the legendary vampire hunter Professor Abraham Van Helsing was changed into a female nun instead. The BBC’s show has Dolly Wells playing the reimagined Agatha Van Helsing, a vampire-hunting nun.
What do you think of a reimagining of the tv classic, Kung Fu?