Fox doubles down on female-driven reboots.
There’s a couple of intriguing new TV series in development over at Fox. It’s been reported that female-led versions of the 1972 series Kung Fu and 2016 film The Nice Guys are in the early stages of production.
Deadline is reporting that Fox has landed the series, Kung Fu, which will be executive produced by TV’s hardest working man, Greg Berlanti. The series is based on the classic 1972 program starring David Carradine but with a twist: A female lead. In case anyone’s worried Kung Fu will end up as one of those pilots that never see the light of day, the series received a put pilot commitment.
The show will be a sequel to the original series which took place in the 1880s and followed the adventures of Shaolin monk, Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine). Caine traveled through the American West looking for his half-brother and getting into a lot of fights for someone so spiritually enlightened.
Here’s the synopsis listed on Deadline:
The new Kung Fu follows the adventures of Lucy Chang, a Buddhist monk and kung fu master who travels through 1950s America armed only with her spiritual training and her martial arts skills as she searches for the man who stole her child years before. When she teams with JT Cullen, a charming Korean War vet with his own secrets, the two form an unlikely alliance that allows Lucy to continue her search while also coming to the aid of people in need. (It is unclear whether Carradine’s character and Lucy Chang are related.)
What’s notable here is that the new Kung Fu is looking to cast an Asian actor in the lead role. The original series stirred up controversy for casting Carradine to play a half-Chinese Shaolin Monk. There’s also plenty of debate surrounding whether the role was meant for martial arts legend, Bruce Lee.
This won’t be the first Kung Fu remake. In the mid-80s CBS tried to run a series titled Kung Fu: The Next Generation, but couldn’t get the show off the ground. Caine’s saga would carry on a few years later in the series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues which ran from 1993 until 1997. The Legend Continues features Caine (David Carradine) as a Shaolin monk reunited with his long-lost son Peter (Chris Potter). Now grown up, Peter is a police officer and he and his father join forces solve to solve crimes.
Kung Fu is a classic series that networks will continue remaking as long as there are TV channels to run it on. What’s more surprising is Fox developing a series based on The Nice Guys, a film with lots of positive buzz that didn’t translate into box office success. The show will be called, The Nice Girls, and it has received a script commitment plus penalty from Fox. Here’s how The Hollywood Reporter describes the show:
The new version is described as a contemporary, female-centered take on the 2016 film, which starred Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as a private eye and an enforcer, respectively, who team up to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl in 1977 Los Angeles.
Michael Diliberti (30 Minutes or Less) will write the script and executive produce along with Ken Kao and Joel Silver, who produced the original, and Rodney Ferrell, the head of Silver Pictures Television, which will produce the new project with 20th Century Fox Television and Lionsgate.
Even though buddy cop movies are so prolific they’ve become their own subgenre, their stories are rarely told from a female perspective. I’m excited to revisit The Nice Guy’s pulpy version of Los Angeles by way of two female POV characters. The Nice Guys stood out for having a clever script, snappy dialogue, and most importantly, a pair of leads with great chemistry. The show’s success begins with smart casting and I’m looking forward to seeing who Fox selects to carry on the adventures of Jackson Healy and Holland March.