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The Weinsteins fork out a huge tuition to attend KUNG FU HIGH SCHOOL!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with some interesting news on the Weinstein front. It seems they have already dug into their near $500 million pocketbook and forked out 7 figures here and high 6 figures there to own the rights to an upcoming novel called KUNG FU HIGH SCHOOL by Ryan Gattis (he gets the 7 figures). They have Ernesto Foronda (wrote BETTER LUCK TOMORROW and is writing the OLDBOY remake) writing the adaptation. I don't think I was alone in thinking of VOLCANO HIGH when I heard this, but then I looked up some summaries of the book. This one is from Publisher's Weekly (Looks to be some major spoilers in this, so read at your own discretion):

The student body of the titular high school is armed, girded with armor and versed in martial arts in this ultraviolent, dystopian debut novel from Gattis, the spawn of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Cormier. With a corrupt, ineffectual administration, Kung Fu High has become a prisonlike society ruled by gangs and neglected by the law. The novel's teenage warrior narrator, Jen B., tells the story of her cousin Jimmy Chang, a world champion martial artist and hero to his peers who vows to his mother that he'll never fight again after he's arrested for drubbing a band of thugs. But Jimmy faces a brutal initiation ritual when he transfers to Kung Fu High, a beating he takes without resistance until Jen's brother, Cue, attacks Jimmy's tormenters. Cue, in turn, is murdered, and Jen must negotiate complex school politics while fighting for survival and trying to avenge her brother's death. Jimmy, her only trusted ally, must break his pacifist vow or see his cousin destroyed. With clinical detachment, Gattis splashes graphic descriptions of violence and gore throughout the novel. The " 'gangbanger' Armageddon" final chapters of this story may feel predictable, but the martial arts mayhem is as detailed and balletic as a John Woo movie.

Sounds a little more hard-core than VOLCANO HIGH, a movie I liked, but I must admit to being frustrated by the hero never doing anything until the very end of the movie. I'm curious to see how this one turns out. The Weinsteins obviously think it's a huge movie. Has anyone out there read this? Let me know what you think in the talkback below!

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 25, 2005, 3:55 a.m. CST


    by phlydan31

    God, i can't believe how gay i was to do this!

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Sounds like 'RIKI-OH, The Story of Ricky' in high school

    by Prague23

    Which means, how can it be bad? Unless they go overboard on CG which isn't always a bad thing (Stephen Chow).

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 4:05 a.m. CST

    Bandwagon jumping...

    by turk128

    I calls it! Between asian cinema and anime, it's been done (some very successfully). Don't see them bringing anything new to the table (the freakin book sounds like a summary of a fan fiction!). Now if this was a Stephen Chow production, that's a different story altogether....

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 4:16 a.m. CST


    by OldEnoughForMe

    Unless the writer(s) and director can come up with something amazing, I think I've heard and seen this story told a million times before. I just don't trust a story with names like, Jimmy Chang and Jen B.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 4:51 a.m. CST

    That sounds retarded.

    by kintar0

    That sounds like the plot to a billon fucking lame animes. The Weinsteins spent how much on this? I've got some great ideas to lay on 'em if they're handing out development deals like this. Shit!

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 5 a.m. CST

    If they'd only let the teachers smack them...

    by DannyOcean01

    From the beginning. We wouldn't have this kind of ninja with armour and weapons kind of problem.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 6:21 a.m. CST

    7th or something equaly meaningless

    by themanlikedave

    Doesn't sound that great really does it.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 8:38 a.m. CST

    who writes a book like this?

    by compn

    make more sense as a comic... like volcano high was originally! but if you copy a manga from korea, and retitle it and change some names, you dont have to pay royalties. then you dont have to pay royalties when you make a movie from it either! yay! also you could call this tenjo tenge if you are from japan, or even the non-anime chinese 'my schoolmate the barbarian'. but check this out, google for 'fight highschool politics' and what comes up? " Full Metal Panic! deftly combines mecha combat, martial arts, international criminal intrigue, high-school politics and a dash of teen romance." now doesnt that sound familiar? fuck this shit.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 8:42 a.m. CST

    you can buy 'kung fu high school' at amazon

    by compn

    for $10. which would be cheaper than seeing it at the theater!

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 8:59 a.m. CST

    I've read the book...

    by Simon_Templar

    ...and if the movie is even half as brutal as the events in the book describe then we're looking at an easy NC-17, trust me. SPOLIER ALERT! Not to mention a slight incestuous subplot between Jimmy and his cousin. Still if they can effectively bring this to the screen, more power to em'

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 9:52 a.m. CST


    by MoviePirate


  • Oct. 25, 2005, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Weinsteins Are Churning Out Garbage....

    by Karl Childers

    WTF? Halloween remake and now this?

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Well, I trust the Weinsteins

    by barryap

    Still, sounds underwhelming.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Gay-Ass BATTLE ROYALE Ripoff

    by heywood jablomie

    Why doesn't somebody just release the bleeding original? With a push, it'd be huge on US screens.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Now if it was a book by WILLIAM GADDIS

    by LilOgre

    That would be something interesting for the Weinsteins to work on.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 11:53 a.m. CST

    They're remaking OLDBOY

    by Setesh

    Wow that is going to suck big floppy donkey dick.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 12:13 p.m. CST

    lilogre, please! harry matthews, MAYBE...

    by duanejones

  • 20 to 1 says it happens.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 12:28 p.m. CST

    maybe they'll do a jimmy changstein thing like in seinfeld

    by sylvian

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 1:33 p.m. CST

    RE: who writes a book like this?

    by Trik

    Someone anticipating a 7 figure payout...

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 1:35 p.m. CST


    by LilOgre

    Agreed - Harry Matthews is great. I've only read CIGARETTES but it was a good read - although friends have said it is his most conventional. But come on - you gotta love Gaddis too! Imagine JR on film. Whew!

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Wait... hold the panties...

    by Neosamurai85

    They're remaking Oldboy?!?!?! Uh... um... my brain needs to shut down for a sec. Peace.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Boy must avenge cousin's death...

    by BCfreeB

    And still find a date to homecoming! Hilarity ensues. We'll see...if they do something over-the-top weird and fun, it could be good. Otherwise it's just a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, desperately trying to come up with a new spin to put on things.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 4:45 p.m. CST

    I can't help but wonder about the movies that Bruce Lee ...a

    by JDanielP

    Talent is where you find it, ...even if it's only the talkback section of aintitcool. I'd throw those guys an original script, ...if they would only take an honest look.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Maybe they could make movies about Bruce Lee's drug overdose

    by Kenshiro_Kane

    ... sad but true.

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 5:30 p.m. CST


    by bigj3rk

    I too thought Battle Royale immediately when I read the title...

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Disapointed by the Hero never doing anything? Yeah thats how I f

    by TheGinger Twit

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Is this thing working?

    by Borgnine JR

  • Oct. 25, 2005, 8:18 p.m. CST

    I just read this book like a week ago.

    by NapoleonDynamite

    It was disappointing. The synopsis on the back made it sound like it would satirize the kung fu genre by setting it in a high school. It isn't a satire, though, the author tries to write it as serious drama so it all comes off as totally unbelievable and ultimately just boring. The ending is unsatisfying as well. Jimmy the hero gets framed for all the murders after the big (completely ludicrous) brawl at the end and gets life in prison. Part of the problem was the narrative voice of "Jen" in the book who consistently comes across as a brainless twat who can't stop talking about how tough she is. There is a good idea for a SATIRE in this book. It can work if they play it for laughs but if they try to play it straight it will just seem ridiculous.

  • Oct. 26, 2005, 4:22 a.m. CST

    Brandon Lee Wasn't Bi

    by OsamaBinPlayaH8a

    But there is a "Brandon Lee" who is a gay porn actor. That was a mean thing to post.

  • Oct. 26, 2005, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Who, here, hasn't wished to see a Batman in martial arts act

    by JDanielP

    Batman should be THAT good, with brains to match.

  • Oct. 26, 2005, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Brandon Lee was not only an incredible martial artist, ...but he

    by JDanielP

    Why should the acceptance of a martial artist attempting the craft of acting any different than a singer attempting the same thing??? Brandon had so much potential. And I was saddened by his death.

  • Oct. 26, 2005, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Does anybody remember the MTV cartoon show "Clone High"

    by FrodosBlueBalls

    I want that on DVD and I want it now.

  • Oct. 26, 2005, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Is the novel based on a comic book?

    by WolfmanNards

    I remember a while back buying a single issue comic of something called "Kung Fu High School" and I remember it being a drama. I also remember not liking it.

  • Oct. 26, 2005, 9:46 p.m. CST

    BATTLE ROYALE Would Be A Huge Hit

    by ZombieSolutions

    but nobody will touch it in the states. too frightened of the puritanical media watchdogs of the reich, er, right, i suppose. anyways, thats why they have to resort to cheapo goofy ass knockoffs like this. to cash into the new arty-ironic-exploitation cinema craze without, you know, actaully going crazy and doing something interesting, edgy, and subversive like BATTLE ROYALE. ________ the fact that they are making an OLDBOY remake almost makes me want to cry. you know it is going to suck dead donkey ass. let us speak no more of it.

  • Oct. 26, 2005, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Don't even begin to talk about the OLDBOY remake...

    by mescal

    That pisses me off enough. Now I see they they are trying to do an "adaptation" of Battle Royale while putting it into the packaging of a new idea. This trend worries the hell out of me. It reminds me of the early 90's when producers started recognizing talent from the east and set of on a mission to water it down and mainstream it. They even brought some of the talent back to the states and made them our bitch.... Did I hear somebody say John Woo?... No?!... OH! You said Jackie Chan! My bad.