Yesterday it was The Fall Guy. Today comes word via Deadline that actor/director Bill Paxton is in talks to head up a big screen version of the 1970s series Kung Fu.
The original series starred David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a former Shaolin monk who traveled the Old West seeking his half brother. Along the way, he would frequently find himself helping people with his martial arts skills. Episodes were punctuated by flashbacks to his early life in a Shaolin temple and the teachings he received there. Although only a small hit at t he time running for three years on ABC, it ran for several more years in syndication and spun off two made-for-TV movies and a sequel series, though the series ignored any continuity established by the earlier TV movies.
The idea for the series was originally pitched to the networks by Bruce Lee who later claimed that execs at ABC stole the idea and turned it into Kung Fu. And while Lee may have lost the chance to star in a second American television series, he did return to Hong Kong and make the string of martial arts films that define his career.
Better known as an actor than a director, Paxton may seem like an odd choice to direct this project, but he has directed two films before, Frailty and The Greatest Game Ever Played, both of which received good reviews.