Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 34

Thread: Kung Fu TV show film REMAKE

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    new york,ny,U.S.A
    Posts
    3,228

    Kung Fu TV show film REMAKE

    scooped ya gene!!!

    Bill Paxton In Talks To Direct ‘Kung Fu’
    By MIKE FLEMING | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 6:18pm EDTTags: Bill Paxton, David Carradine, John McLaughlin, Kung Fu, Legendary East, Legendary Entertainment
    Comments (7)
    Mike Fleming

    EXCLUSIVE: Bill Paxton is in talks to direct Kung Fu, a screen adaptation of the classic 1972 TV series that starred David Carradine. Paxton, who’s coming off a run in the HBO series Big Love, gets the job after helming two solid films: Frailty and The Greatest Game Ever Played. John McLaughlin will write the script. The film’s being put together under the Legendary Entertainment banner to shoot partly in China next summer. It is possible that this will come under Legendary East, the Hong Kong-based joint venture that involves Thomas Tull’s Legendary, but insiders said that hasn’t happened to this point.

    The original series tracked the adventures of a Shaolin monk as he wanders the American West. The monk wants peace but usually winds up using his spectacular martial arts skills to kick some serious tail, in between flashbacks of his early life in the monastery. Below is a reminder of the show.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,564

    Well played, Doug

    We should have predicted this one coming, eh? Maybe not the Bill Paxton part, but in retrospect, this is a perfect candidate for redux.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,564

    update

    A western with martial arts....how novel...
    Bill Paxton On KUNG FU: It'll Be "A Western With Martial Arts"
    by Jason Gorber, March 12, 2012 2:23 PM

    Last week TWITCH was invited to fly (by private plane no less!) to the set of the upcoming post-apocalyptic cannibal thriller The Colony. We toured the incredible underground facility where the set was located, the decommissioned subterranean former home of NORAD in North Bay, Ontario. This nuclear age relic was the perfect setting for a wide ranging conversation with Bill Paxton - star Aliens and Big Love, director of the under-appreciated Frailty.

    Paxton was somewhat mercurial with the television interviews he did between takes, but when he sat down after the scene's completion for our discussion he could not have been more generous with his time. His passion about film is contagious, as evident in the way he talks about his upcoming project, Kung Fu.

    ____________________________________

    What were you up to before ending up at the bottom of a mountain in Northern Ontario?

    I just came off a fifteen week shoot in Romania with Kevin Costner and a big international cast doing The Hatfields & McCoys, coming on in May on the History channel.

    While I was doing that I was hired on last summer by Legendary to do Kung Fu, based on the old Warner Brothers television show with David Carradine. I was working the script all Fall with my writer, and we turned that in in late January. [The Colony] came along, and I thought, well, it's going to take the studio a while to get back to me, so this was a job that came along at the right time basically.

    Can you talk about the angle you're taking on KUNG FU?

    [The studio] had gone down a few different roads with a few writers. 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. We went back, John McLaughlin [writer of Black Swan, Making Of Psycho] and myself, and we watched the original three seasons.

    I didn't realize until recently that there had been a second series with Caradine here in Canada, in the late 70's? [ed. Actually, they were shot in Toronto in the mid 1990s] I have not seen those.

    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.

    We have the Cherry Blossom festival when he runs into Master Po and the Emperor's nephew - we've got back to a lot of that stuff, but we've really enriched it in a way in thematic terms, there's a great theme of redemption through this thing.

    The original series was shot so cheap and so low budget. They used the old Camelot set on the redressed back lot of Warner Brothers. They'd be shooting a railway camp and there might be 15 extras, and we're going to have 10,000 men on a hill building a trellis. We're going to be bringing a scale and a grandeur that the story should have always had, but because of budget and time they were unable to.

    You're going to have 10,000 real people?

    No, but I have to shoot the whole picture in China, because 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.

    To take that a step further, 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.

    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.

    What's interesting about Caine is because he's a product of both worlds is that even though he's raised in China he comes to the West, by the time he goes back to China in the third act he's picked up a bit of a Western thing. We've found some clever ways for East to meet West, and to resonate with the audience.

    The full Paxton interview from the set of The Colony will be published on Friday. Come back tomorrow for Paxton's take on his love for Apollo 18 and hatred of Hugo!

    Thanks to everyone on set, the Town and Mayor of North Bay, and the tireless Claire at Alliance for making the trip possible.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
    Greetings,

    Given the strong hip hop support to CMA cinema, Caine will have to be Chinese or Chinese African. Caine's mother escaped the cruelty of The Transatlantic Slave Trade by swimming to China. They can have Taraji P. Henson play the mother. Her booty is well appreciated in China.


    mickey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    22,250
    Well....I personally would have remade it in modern times with the appropriate changes but hey...
    This has the potential to be pretty good IF they don't screw the pooch in all the way the original did or it can be a horrific mess.
    The whole "half-breed' thing is not needed BUT if they are going to go with that I would probably suggest either an european missionary or something more "sinister" ( as in the case of an incestious/illicit or perhaps forced encounter type thing).
    In the western time frame/era China, you didn't really get many african slaves/workers being able to play hide-the-salami with the local women so I don't know how the chinese-african thing would work...
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    new york,ny,U.S.A
    Posts
    3,228
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    A western with martial arts....how novel...
    i like his ideas, and where he is going...i like that he isnt attempting to make it a kung fu western but a western with kung fu...i dig that....because all the real good kung fu movies, got their ideas from japanese cinema(everyone knows the famous story of run run shaw showing all the shaw bros directors samurai films and saying "we need this!") and since those samurai films borrowed so heavily from the american western(and later vice versa) its only fitting that it kind comes full circle...im interested in seeing what he does...i have feeling they will try and get keanu reeves for this film...he is now the go to "asian".

  7. #7
    Please no, not Keanu Reeves....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    4,887
    I think Russell Wong would be better...I'm not a big fan or anything, but he can really act, and he also does (or did) actually train kung fu (Fu Jow Pai).

    But I really think Donnie Yen would be the best. Except he couldn't really pass for a Chinese/European, at least onscreen.

  9. #9
    Greetings,

    I am all for Jason Scott Lee. I am willing to bet y'all forgot about this guy. He can act and he has been a student of Jeet Kune Do for over 15 years.

    mickey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    new york,ny,U.S.A
    Posts
    3,228
    sorry guys...wishful thinking...lol...although donnie would be great. but it aint happening.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,564

    More from Paxton

    Bill Paxton says his Kung Fu film will have `scale and grandeur'
    By Jay Stone, Postmedia News March 14, 2012

    NORTH BAY, Ont. - Bill Paxton says his film version of the 1970s TV series, Kung Fu, will have ``a scale and a grandeur that the story should have always had.''

    Paxton - in Canada to co-star in the upcoming sci-fi thriller The Colony - is directing Kung Fu as what he calls ``a western with an eastern hero.''

    When movies are made from TV shows, ``a lot of times, they don't pay the respect due the original thing,'' Paxton said during a break of the filming of The Colony in an abandoned NORAD bunker.

    ``Why was it successful in the first place? The fighting is important, but people remember the Shaolin teachings as much: He would take so much and then he would start whaling.''

    The original series starred the late David Carradine as a Shaolin monk named Kwai Chang Caine, who leaves China to find his family in the American West. Paxton said he and screenwriter John McLaughlin (The Patriot, Ray) watched all three seasons of the original series.

    ``The original series was shot so cheap and so low-budget,'' he said. ``They used the old Camelot set on the back lot of Warner Brothers, and redressed it.'' He said that, where the TV show might have 15 extras working on a railway, ``we're going to have 10,000 men on a hill building a trellis.''

    Paxton is best known as the star of such films as Aliens and Apollo 13, but he said he's now more interested in directing. He has made two previous features, the 2001 thriller, Frailty, and the 2005 sports film, The Greatest Game Ever Played.

    Kung Fu will be filmed in China for the Legendary Entertainment studio. There's no star yet: Paxton said there will be a big talent hunt for the right actor.

    ``He has to be Chinese-something,'' Paxton said. ``Chinese-Irish, Chinese-Israeli, Chinese-American, Chinese-Canadian, and have to be a skilled martial artist.''

    He said Kung Fu will be ``a western with violence, kind of like True Grit was,'' as opposed a film that relies on the special-effects wirework that has become the trademark of martial-arts movies.

    jstone(at)postmedia.com
    canada.com/stonereport
    Like True Grit indeed. Who's gonna replace Hailee Steinfeld? Maybe they can help launch a new starlet like the original series did with Jodie Foster.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,564

    In the wake of SDCC2013

    nice interview
    Comic-Con 2013: Bill Paxton Talks 7 Holes, Kung Fu…and a Twister Sequel?

    The star of “Big Love,” Aliens and Frailty discusses when he might next step back into the director’s chair and whether Helen Hunt should get ready for another round in that Twister-mobile.
    July 19th, 2013 Fred Topel


    Bill Paxton came to San Diego Comic-Con to promote a graphic novel he is presenting. Bill Paxton Presents 7 Holes For Air is the story of Bob Rourke, a hard living construction worker diagnosed with a tumor. As the cancer consumes him, he imagines many of his encounters in life as a spaghetti western,and himself as its gunslinging hero. I read a digital copy to prepare for this interview, but when I met Paxton in the lobby of the Hilton Bayfront, he presented me with a hard copy of 7 Holes For Air. We also got to talking about his plans for directing a Kung Fu movie based on the David Carradine series, and ideas for a Twister sequel that make Franchise Fred intrigued.

    Bill Paxton: You’re holding the first one. I’ve still got a little more work to do on it but we’ve come down here with a couple hundred copies. It won’t really be out officially until September.

    CraveOnline: Now, it’s Bill Paxton Presents 7 Holes For Air. What exactly is involved in presenting this graphic novel?



    Yeah, exactly. This was a screenplay by John McLaughlin. He’s an old colleague of mine, a good friend. It was a script he wrote on spec and I read it about five years ago and I thought it was one of the best screenplays I’d ever read. And then Mick Reinman is a great artist who happens to be a very close friend of mine. He had worked with me on all my storyboards for The Greatest Game Ever Played, which I directed for Walt Disney. I thought, why not turn 7 Holes into a graphic novel? I knew it would take a long time to do that. I’m hoping to eventually direct it as a film, but I love the story so much and the screenplay, I wanted it to exist on some level. So the graphic novel serves a few purposes for me. It’s a chance to get the story out where people can enjoy it, even if it never becomes a film, but hopefully if it does become a film, it’s a great backbone in terms of my art department and my storyboards.

    If you direct it, would you want to play Bob also?

    You know, originally when I read the script five years ago, I thought, “God, what a part.” Yeah, I would have loved to have played Bob, but I don’t know if I could get the money on my name so I’d be willing to just direct it now. I’ve kind of resigned myself to directing it.

    Another one of my questions was going to be when will you direct again. Could this be the next thing?

    Possibly. I was hired about a year and a half ago by Legendary to develop the Kung Fu property for them. They got it from Warner Television and they wanted me to help them turn it into a new movie franchise. So John McLaughlin, I got him hired by Legendary to write the screenplay. We put it through a few drafts and now Mick Reinman has done about 500 drawings for it so far. We’re kind of in a holding pattern because they want to make it under their new company Legendary East. That’s taken a while to put together because that’s a Chinese coproduction company.

    Have you gone out to casting on Kung Fu?

    No, it’s the early days. I have a feeling it’ll be an unknown actor.

    As Caine?

    Kwai Chang Caine, because building a new franchise, you really can reach out to a new actor and the brand will carry an unknown whereas some films you need a star name. I think with this, the name Kung Fu is the star. There were a lot of great characters in it, but as you remember, he was an orphan, but he was of a Chinese and American descent so he didn’t belong. He was a guy in between two worlds, wasn’t accepted by either really. The Shaolins raised him as one of his own but he goes to America to try to find who his father was.

    I remember you compared Greatest Game to House of Flying Golf Balls. Would this be your chance to actually do full-on Kung Fu action?

    Absolutely. This has a ton of action in it, but I’d like to find, whoever the lead is, someone who has martial skills. You end up doing some wirework, but I’d like to shoot it more like a gritty western so it’s pretty head to toe what’s going on in the frame, more like True Grit did but with some martial arts, as opposed to people dancing up trees and all that. To me, I fall out of the reality of the story if it’s too much like that.

    Are you also thinking of shooting a lot of master shots so we can see the martial arts without cutting, or shaking the camera?

    Absolutely. I’ll definitely want to shoot head to toe as much as I can.

    The artwork in 7 Holes for Air is a little bit ambiguous. Is it supposed to be your likeness as Bob?

    No, no, it’s not my likeness. We had a few different people in mind when we were doing it. I had James Gandolfini in mind. I had Mickey Rourke kind of in mind. Bryan Cranston is great, but no. Mick is actually a fine artist but he’s also worked as an illustrator. A lot of stuff to me is too conformed. We found, when we were looking for a publisher, that they like it more conformed.

    Again, this was kind of an altruistic project. It was a story we wanted to bring to the graphic novel world, but also my father was a great art collector and he commissioned artists to do a few things for him and said, “You never want to restrict an artist. You don’t tell him how to paint the portrait.” So I turned him loose and I like the looseness of it. You can almost look at a panel of this and it almost could look like something that was done by Roy Lichtenstein or Rauschenberg. To me there’s some fine art involved here.

    Also Mick is a great figurative artist. That’s very tough. That is the hardest art as a painter to master, the figure. I love the attitude and I know they’re loose, but I just love the action of the figures. Also he has a great eye for layout. I love the way the panels are all laid out on each page.

    And the women, talking about figures, the way he presents the women.

    Yes, they’re buxom and beautiful.

    Just the poses he has them in, he emphasizes the forms.

    You’re right, absolutely. Again, he’s just a guy who really knows figurative painting and drawing. He can really draw. We’re living in an age where there are not a lot of artists who can draw. I’m more of a conceptual artist, so the Bill Paxton Presents is kind of like Alfred Hitch**** Presents. I took John’s script, I brought Mick together, I oversaw it all, I did a lot of the editing on the piece and the formatting, all of that. Went over it, have revised it over and over again.

    Is it scene for scene what the screenplay was?

    No, it’s an adaptation. It’s a little more compressed. The screenplay is 115 pages. It’s very textured, very detailed so with Mick, we had to carve out what we thought was the real meat and potatoes of the story. In the screenplay, you get to know Bob’s relationship with James, the brother-in-law, who he seems to have a detestable contempt for but in the screenplay it actually becomes kind of a bromance as these two men come to really have a fondness and a respect for each other. It’s a great piece of business.

    It also has its own rules and it’s rare that you find a screenplay. So many times they play fast and loose with the rules. As an audience member for me, it really ****es me off where suddenly in the third act there’s some kind of deus ex machina thing and you’re like, what? You’ve seen shows, they go off the rails and suddenly anything goes. This thing sets the rules up for the audience that you’re going to go back and forth to these two stories and there’s something inherently entertaining in that.

    Have you had to deal with that as an actor where you’re in one of the big movies and they say, “Now we’re doing this” and you have to go along with it because you’re just the actor?

    It’s very frustrating. I’ve been lucky lately. I’ve got two great parts in the can. I’ve got this one coming out with Denzel and Mark Wahlberg called 2 Guns. That was based on a graphic novel but it was also based on a famous Don Siegel movie from the ‘70s that Walter Matheau starred in called Charley Varrick. There was a character who was hired by the mafia, like a human bloodhound character played by Joe Don Baker, great character actor. That’s the part I play in this and I didn’t re-watch the film. I’m a film geek. I don’t know a lot about the name of the “Doctor Who” characters but if you want to talk about films, I can talk about films.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,564

    continued from previous

    The rest is about Twister 2 pretty much.
    I heard you were trying to get a Twister sequel made. Is there any heat on that?

    I was. Well, I got Kathy Kennedy interested. I did a lot of research. The biggest Tornado to ever hit this country was called the Tri-State Tornado of 1925. It still holds all the records. It was a tornado that was up to two miles wide traveling 70 miles an hour and it stayed on the ground almost three hours. It’s called the Tri-State because it started out in Missouri, crossed the Mississippi river, cut a swath of death and destruction across southern Illinois before going across the Wabash and killing a bunch of people in Indiana.

    I went on a trip with a guy named Scott Thompson. He played preacher in Twister. He’s an old friend of mine. We did a road trip where we tracked the trail of the Tri-State and we went to all the old historical societies. The one which we went to was Murphysboro. The headline, it’s an aerial shot, it just looks like WWI bombed out city. It said, “In the blink of an eye, Murphysboro is gone” and we saw it because some of the old timers there, you know what they say? They say if it happened once…

    Now, can you imagine, we’ve seen some very deadly tornadoes in the last few years. These ones that hit Oklahoma this year, the one that hit Joplin a couple years ago. They’re just death and destruction because these are now very populated areas. The midwest is populated now. Can you imagine something on the magnitude of a Tri-State coming through there? That would be the third act of the sequel.

    Right, because it never hit a big city in the movie.

    It’s going to hit St. Louis and it’s going to take the famous Arch and just twist it like one of those ribbons.

    Would Warner Brothers be interested in bringing back this franchise?

    No, you know what, really right now, I think it’s really in Steven Spielberg’s camp. I’ve never had a chance to have an audience with him. I grew up with him. I used Bill Butler to shoot Frailty. He shot Jaws. I’ve kind of been a student from afar, met him a few times, he knows me but I’ve never really had a chance to sit him in a room and and go, “I’ve got some ideas for this you wouldn’t believe.”

    He and Kathy control it, and does Michael Crichton’s estate have a stake?

    Michael Crichton’s estate, I saw Michael years ago about it, a couple years after the first one and he seemed to me a little bit negative about it because he kept thinking, “What’s the gizmo?” We had the Dorothy in the first one. “What’s it going to be?” I felt like there’s a lot of ideas you can explore. To me, the first one was kind of the Pepsi Light version of what we could really do with that subject. There’s something so incredibly about the anthropomorphic nature of tornados. They’ll kill everybody on that side of the hotel and leave us not even harmed. It almost has an evil mind of its own. There are so many things to explore in that, and there were so many weather phenomena I wanted to explore like ball lightning, which is very creepy and very obscure.

    What’s it called?

    Ball lightning, look it up. It’s very cool.

    And All You Need Is Kill is called Edge of Tomorrow now. What do you play in that?

    I play a guy named Sgt. Bobby Farrell from Science Hill, Kentucky and I’m his platoon sergeant. It’s kick-ass. I’ve seen some of it. What’s cool about it is he keeps having to live through this day like Groundhog Day. It has its own rules again and as you get into the rules, it’s pretty gnarly. It’s very dark and it’s very humorous.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,564

    Slightly OT...

    Revisiting Kung Fu With Martin Zweiback
    By Maria Banks, Epoch Times | September 19, 2013
    Last Updated: September 19, 2013 7:55 pm


    At first glance, Martin Zweiback’s warmth, candor, and humility were immediately felt, and a great starting point as we embarked on resurrecting his stories written back *****in the 1970s for the hit TV series Kung Fu, starring David Carradine. Mr. Zweiback is one of the most revered writers of the iconic Kung Fu TV series.

    Reporter: How would you describe the Kung Fu TV show?

    Zweiback: A Spiritual Western—the only one of its kind ever on TV, to this day. It also presented “Eastern philosophy” as written by American writers, and actually preached non-violence by presenting the violence of martial arts. All contradictory but it worked. Pretty incredible, especially considering that this was 1973 and we were still embroiled in Vietnam. Keep in mind that most of the Asians were presented in the show as the “good guys”: downtrodden, exploited, or very wise. The “bad guys” were usually the American gunslingers or red necks. Actually I only realize this looking back 40 years later, but that’s pretty extraordinary if you think about it.

    Reporter: You use the word “embroiled” in the Vietnam War, could you elaborate?

    Zweiback: Embroiled; trying to figure a way out. Very much as we are now in Afghanistan, and just were in Iraq. We got into Vietnam in ‘55 and we didn’t get out until ‘75. Good men and women and children were dying for almost 20 years before we got ourselves out of that mess. The interesting thing is that the Kung Fu show started in ‘72. That was three years before we finally helicoptered ourselves and a few lucky friends out of a country we probably never should have been in to begin with. So, here was a TV show presenting Asian and half-Asian heroes to the American public while our men were still fighting the so-called “gooks” overseas. And the show was a hit. The American public loved it. They loved it because it was good storytelling, and they responded to its wisdom and compassion—as well as to its basic message of non-violence. Can you imagine a show on TV today where most of the good guys are the Muslims?

    Reporter: What was the source of inspiration for referencing “Eastern philosophy?”

    Zweiback: In my case I made it up as I went along, but the tone of it came from my reading of the Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu, and what little I knew of Buddhism. What I loved about writing for the show was that it encouraged me to put my own feelings about life into words—words that I didn’t always fully understand as I was writing them.

    Reporter: What was your greatest challenge writing for the Kung Fu TV series and how did you overcome it?

    Zweiback: Getting the assignment and going after it. I had “crossed over” into features and had been nominated for Best Screenplay for Me, Natalie by the Writer’s Guild. I had not done TV for years, but I saw the pilot show and loved it, so I went after it.

    Reporter: How has this project impacted your life, as a writer and in your personal life, both past and present?

    Zweiback: I consider it the highlight of my creative life in TV—thus far.

    Reporter: How did this opportunity come to you?

    Zweiback: It didn’t come to me, I went after it—because I loved the pilot and the Carradine character, and thought I could make a contribution.

    Reporter: What was your biggest surprise?

    Zweiback: One, getting the assignment. Two, some of the thoughts and lines I was able to come up with by just going with the flow of the story.

    Reporter: How long did it take you to come up with an idea for a story and then write it?

    Zweiback: It varied. About 2 to 3 weeks. “Ancient Warrior” I had to write in four days because there was an upcoming writer’s strike and the script had to be in by midnight of the fourth day, and it was delivered with only minutes to spare. It turned out to be the highest-rated Kung Fu episode ever! The show went from about 34th place to first place in the ratings. I was particularly pleased because I had recommended Chief Dan George for the title character, and he was magnificent in the part!

    Reporter: Was this person a real Indian chief? How did you come to know about him?

    Zweiback: “Ancient Warrior” came from my imagination, though the image of Chief Dan George, from the movie Little Big Man, was very much in my mind when I wrote the story. I was very pleased when I found out that they had cast him in the part—and particularly pleased to find out that he agreed to do the show, even though he was actually quite ill at the time, because he loved the script.

    Reporter: Did you have any idea how successful the series would become?

    Zweiback: Never questioned it. The surprise was, in all modesty, how my particular episodes seemed to resonate with audiences, which producer Jerry Thorp acknowledged in a letter thanking me for “your enormous contribution to the success of our first season.”

    Reporter: Would you consider writing a new series if asked?

    Zweiback: Yes.

    Reporter: How do you feel about your Kung Fu audience now requesting Netflix to offer the series via instant stream, so as to be able to watch several in a row online?

    Zweiback: Can’t complain about it since it’s a tribute to the continuing popularity of the series—but I’m not sure you don’t get more out of each episode by watching them separately, rather than turning the show into a marathon.

    Reporter: Will there be TV reruns of Kung Fu?

    Zweiback: No idea, that’s up to Warner Bros. I do know there has been talk for years about doing a feature-length remake.

    Reporter: Is there anything you’d like to express that was unasked?

    Zweiback: I look back on those words I wrote over 40 years ago in service to the show and wonder what inspired them?

    I would have to give major credit to the iconic image that David Carradine delivered; as well as, of course, the original creators of the pilot show, which filled me with enthusiasm and the determination to work on it. Yet for me, as a writer, I would be remiss not to mention my personal inspiration from another writer—the Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu, who was born 600 years before Christ. It was his words that helped me to find my own words in the 20th century. I confess now that I didn’t always fully understand the meaning of my own words, yet I went with the flow, and eventually the words all came to have meaning for me in a very deep and personal way.

    Reporter: Could you elaborate on how they touched you personally?

    Zweiback: As an example, when I wrote “It is only after death that the depth of our bond to our loved one is truly felt” and that they “become more a part of us in death than when in life” I had not yet experienced the truth of that statement. Decades later, when I did go through that experience, I found it to be absolutely true, at least for me.

    The same was also true for many of the statements that I wrote intuitively, and later discovered to be absolutely true through my life experience—including the statement that “There is no truth, except that which cannot be spoken”. Life is a paradox.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,564

    continued from previous

    Reporter: You said you recently watched the episodes you wrote for this interview. Are there any phrases you can recall that you are particularly proud of?

    Zweiback: I also went back and checked the scripts to make sure they came from me. I’ll quote from a few that still had meaning for me, after 40 years:

    “The Tide”:

    “If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present. But if a man ignores the past he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.”

    “Those who value Freedom most must sometimes choose to lose it.”

    “The Stone”:

    “If you fight [injustice and cruelty] anywhere, do you not fight them everywhere?”

    “There is no truth, except that which cannot be spoken.”

    “The Ancient Warrior”:

    PO: It is only after death that the depth of our bond to a loved one is truly felt, and in this way those truly loved become more a part of us in death than when in life.

    YOUNG CAINE: And do we only feel this toward those whom we have known and loved a long time?

    PO: Sometimes a stranger, known to us only for moments can spark our souls to kinship for eternity.

    YOUNG CAINE: How can it be that strangers known for such a short time in our lives can take on such importance to our souls?

    PO: Because our soul does not keep time. It merely records growth.

    Zweiback: A postscript on this last one—I was told by someone that they had a relative who was seriously contemplating suicide; and who changed his mind because of the words he heard on that show. Can any writer receive a greater compliment?!

    Reporter: Are you still working on any projects?

    Zweiback: Always. Unfortunately my long-time agent at CAA recently passed away. Finding a replacement has been a challenge.

    Reporter: Are there any more screenplays in the works?

    Zweiback: Several. But the one I’m most focused on at the moment is a screenplay titled Destiny! It’s an epic adventure love story based on historical fact that takes place in turn-of-the-19th Century China and the U.S. You could describe it as Lawrence of Arabia in China, except there’s a great love story involved.

    Reporter: Records indicate that you’ve had a long and fruitful career. Having written for many successful TV series besides Kung Fu you are well-known for several feature films among them; Me, Natalie, which introduced Al Pacino for the first time to the “big screen,” garnering you Best Screenplay nomination by the Writer’s Guild. The Ultimate Solution Of Grace Quigley, which won several awards and starred Katharine Hepburn, and Cactus in the Snow, which was honored at the Kennedy Center as the only anti-war film to come out of Hollywood during the Vietnam War—and which you also directed, to rave reviews.

    How would you sum up your career thus far?

    Zweiback: I’ve never thought of my career as “long and fruitful”. It’s had its moments—and I definitely consider Kung Fu to be among the moments—but I’m still on the journey. I still have songs to sing, and I’m still banging on the castle doors trying to get the powers-that-be to listen.

    Reporter: Any plans for retirement?

    Zweiback: Maybe when I’m dead—or shortly thereafter.

    The interview comes to a close, but not without gaining an indication as what to look forward to in the future. All good thoughts go to Mr. Zweiback in gaining access to the movie industry’s giants who are thirsty for a great story to tell.

    By the way, I had the privilege of reading Destiny!, and master wordsmith Martin Zweiback has left no stone unturned in telling this most compelling story, demonstrating qualities most like his main character in the episode “Ancient Warrior,” Mr. Zweiback embodies strength, conviction, and a passion for his work.

    We look forward to seeing Destiny! on the big screen in the near future.

    This article was originally written for Circle Magazine.
    Gotta remember to search "Caine" to find this thread.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •