Papa Vinyard here, now here's a little somethin' for ya...
Here's something weird to think about over the weekend. Baz Luhrmann, the madcap director responsible for such flicks as WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S ROMEO+ JULIET, MOULIN ROUGE, and THE GREAT GATSBY, is eyeballing a 30+ year-old TV show for his next project. It ain't I DREAM OF JEANNIE, and it ain't GILLIGAN'S ISLAND.
It is the Bruce Lee co-created, David Carradine starring ABC series KUNG FU. Yes, that KUNG FU. With Caine wandering the earth and all that.
THR claims Luhrmann's in talks to update the series, about a half-caucasian half-Chinese Shaolin monk (played by the fully-caucasian David Carradine) who traverses the west, setting right what once went wrong (or is that another show…). The current script by AIRHEADS/XXX writer Rich Wilkes (also responsible for the overlooked GLORY DAZE w/ Ben Affleck and Sam Rockwell) apparently moves the action to China, where Caine will be searching for his father instead of his half-brother from the original series. However, if Luhrmann signs on, he's expected to rewrite the script to his liking, so nothing's solid on what it'll end up being about.
The martial arts western only has a few well-known entries, like SHANGHAI NOON or arguably BILLY JACK, but if Luhrmann can make the genre his own the way he did the Shakespeare adaptation and booming '20s high-society romance, this should be something more than your average dusted-off TV adaptation. His films usually have a few "action" scenes, but he's never depicted hand-to-hand violence before, so the jury's out on whether he has a knack for it or not. One of the senior AICNers says it "could be either awesome or a disaster," and I'd have to agree, but I have a feeling no matter what this ends up being, it'll be something worthy of our interest.
So, who do we want for our new Kwai Chang Cain, presuming they're casting a full-on Asian this time? Jet Li (my personal choice), Iko Urwais (Nordling's pick), Donnie Yen, Tony Jaa, or someone completely different?