From 1972-1975, Western audiences fell in love with a TV show that blended Western tropes with Eastern kung fu action sequences and philosophies. It was called, appropriately, Kung Fu, and it made a star out of David Carradine — he’s the title role in Kill Bill partially because of Quentin Tarantino‘s desire to reference such an important show in martial arts history. However, as you might expect about a martial arts-centered show starring a white guy as a Chinese Shaolin monk, it has aged a little problematically. Now, mega-producers Greg Berlanti (the Arrowverse) and Christina M. Kim (Blindspot) are rebooting the show for The CW — with a decidedly modern twist.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the new Kung Fu was originally developed for Fox before moving to The CW and getting scooped up by Kim and Berlanti. Kim will co-write the pilot script alongside Blindspot creator Martin Gero. The two Blindspot colleagues have a lot of experience crafting female-centered action thrillers for television, and it sounds like the new Kung Fu will follow in those footsteps. Its main character will be a Chinese-American woman who travels to a monastery in China to try and find herself after dropping out of college. She then finds herself drawn into an underworld of conspiracies, vendettas, and martial arts action as her hometown is overrun with criminals. She uses her skills to fight for what’s right — while trying to find the assassin who killed her mentor.
I shan’t mince words: This sounds dope as hell. If there are two things I like, it’s One: Watching martial arts action on screen and Two: Strides being made toward equal representation in the media. By centering the action of Kung Fu on an authentically Chinese character, while still maintaining the mythologies and pleasures of the original series, Kim, Berlanti, and Gero will likely have quite the action series on their hands. And if it takes them more than one episode to find their feeting, then we must have patience, grasshopper.