Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kung Fu to return? 'Snatch the sequel from my hand'

"Kung Fu" will tell a familiar story with a new face.
Actor/director Bill Paxton and screenwriter John J. McLaughlin have been working to bring the 1970s cult classic "Kung Fu," which starred the late David Carradine, to the big screen. Paxton recently told Twitch that he and McLaughlin are awaiting word - perhaps as patiently as Shaolin monks? - on a script that the submitted in January.

Paxton said he and McLaughlin watched all three seasons of the original show in order to get a feel for the original. "What happens a lot when people go back to redo a TV show to do a movie, a lot of times they don't pay a respect to the original thing - asking why was it successful in the first place. The fighting is important, but people remember the Shaolin teachings, that he would take so much and then start wailing."

Other highlights from the interview with Jason Gorber follow.

On the plot: "We're pretty much following the story - the 'A' story is Caine as a young man, in the American West of the 1870s looking for his birth father. While you're following him there, you fill in with the 'B' story, what his background was, how he ended up being orphaned, how he ended up at the monastery, how he was raised to be a Shaolin priest, and then how he had to leave under adverse circumstances."

On the atmosphere: "This is going to be more of a Western, with violence, sort of like what 'True Grit' was, as opposed to a lot of wire work. To me to do a big martial arts film - God, there are so many great ones, and believe me the Chinese do great ones, to me it makes more sense to make it a Western with martial arts."

On shooting the film in China: "... part of the financing is going to come out of there. Legendary is starting a new company called 'Legendary East' - it's made of a consortium of Chinese investment.Kung Fu is a natural title for them, it's a Western with an Eastern hero."

On the main character: "I think the character of Caine, whoever this actor this is, and we're going to have to do a big search, he has to be Chinese-something... Chinese-Irish, Chinese-Israeli, Chinese-American, Chinese-Canadian ... He's probably going to have to be a pretty skilled martial artist."

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