In 1971, Billy Jack became the spark to a flood of Hong Kong imported Kung Fu movies across the West. Kung Fu and other martial arts schools began to spring up across the nation. Not to be left out in the Kung Fu mania, ABC television launched a Bruce Lee-inspired program called Kung Fu. The show introduced an American audience to Chinese culture and history.
The film is an historical contribution to the martial arts action genre for modern day filmgoers, and a spiritual window into the Asian action classics of yesteryear, namely with the presence of stars like Sonny Chiba and Gordon Liu, and even made martial arts action maestro Yuen Woo-Ping a household name. Headlined by actress Uma Thurman with a stellar hit list featuring Vivica A. Fox, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen and late actor David Carradine who tragically passed away six summers ago, the film delivers all the glorious tropes of old-school martial arts action, Japanese anime and old-fashioned western thrills, with memorable costumes and weapons, and a story that kept fans on the edges of their seats so many years ago.
Producers Jon Jashni, Scott Mednick, Thomas Tull and Vincent Newman are reportedly looking for a new director to help revamp current efforts to bring the classic martial arts TV series, Kung Fu, to the big screen. The news comes accompanied by reports on Friday that after several years of lingering announcements, Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures are officially moving forward with the project.
After serving in the army, despite no formal training until after Kung Fu ended in 1975, David Carradine has long since been an extensive cult icon in film and television. In addition to being a musician, he also served as a multifaceted filmmaker, as well as a spokesperson for Tai Chi instructional videos and authentic swords over the years. Some of Carradine’s most notable work includes the 1975 cult classic, Death Race 2000, his quadrual performance in the 1978 rendition of Bruce Lee’s “The Silent Flute” which eventually became Circle Of Iron, the 1983 classic action film, Lone Wolf McQuade, the contemporary 2-volume homage to retro Shaw Brothers kung fu cinema, Kill Bill, and the 2008 rawnchy prison action comedy, Big Stan.
“…Series characters always have one archetypal scene. With Eastwood, it was the time he killed three men with one bullet. Lone Wolf McQuade has a classic. He’s shot. They think he’s dead. They bury him in his supercharged, customized pickup truck. He comes to. Pours a beer over his head. Floors the accelerator, and drives that mother right out of the grave. You get the idea.”