David Leitch to Direct Big Screen ‘Kung Fu’ Adaptation for Universal

John Wick” co-director David Leitch is back. And he’s ready to kick ass. According to Deadline, the filmmaker will soon tackle a big screen adaptation of seminal television series “Kung Fu” for Universal (home to Leitch’s 87North Productions banner), who bought the rights from ABC. The original series starred David Carradine as a half-Chinese man exiled to the Old West, where he would right wrongs and, in the words of Samuel L. Jackson in “Pulp Fiction,” generally “walk the earth.” The project doesn’t have a writer yet but one will be assigned soon.

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Leitch is coming off of “Fast and Furious” spin-off “Hobbs and Shaw,” which was released by Universal last summer and made almost $800 million worldwide. He also directed “Deadpool 2” and “Atomic Blonde.” His next film as a producer is “Nobody” from “Hardcore Henry” director Ilya Naishuller, which is due out this summer from Universal. It’s easy to see why he would be attracted to the “Kung Fu” series and what new elements he could potentially bring to the property. Whatever Leitch ends up doing, you can better believe it will have some elaborately choreographed, bone-crunching action sequences.

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Somewhat confusing matters, though, is that the CW is developing a female-led reboot of the original series “Blindspot” team of writer-executive producer Christina M. Kim, creator-executive producer Martin Gero, executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. (Although, it should be noted, this has yet to be green lit for series.) It’ll interesting to see which project will make it to public consumption first and how radically different these versions will be from the original series.