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Thread: Kung Fu TV show CW REMAKE

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  1. #1
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    Lucy Chang - didn't see that one coming...

    ‘Kung Fu’ Female-Led Series Reboot From Greg Berlanti & Wendy Mericle Set At Fox As Put Pilot
    by Nellie Andreeva
    September 28, 2017 12:15pm


    WBTV

    EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Fox has landed Kung Fu, a drama with a female lead based on the 1970s David Carradine-starring TV series. The project, executive produced by Greg Berlanti, was given a put pilot commitment.

    Written by Arrow executive producer and longtime Berlanti collaborator Wendy Mericle, Kung Fu is a sequel to the original 1880s-set series, which was created by Ed Spielman and chronicled the adventures of Kwai Chang Caine (Carradine), a Shaolin monk who travels the American Old West armed only with his spiritual training — including a ton of aphorisms — and his skill in martial arts in search of his half-brother.



    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.)

    Mericle and Berlanti Prods’ Berlanti and Sarah Schechter executive produce for Warner Bros TV and studio-based Berlanti Prods.

    If the project goes to series, it would mark a rare Big 4 broadcast drama series with an Asian character at the center.



    The original 1972 Kung Fu series started with a 90-minute TV movie, which served as a pilot (you can watch the series’ opening sequence below). The drama’s three-season run on ABC was followed by a stand-alone TV movie, Kung Fu: The Movie, which aired on CBS in 1986 with Carradine reprising his role and Brandon Lee playing his son. CBS the following year tried to launch a sequel series, Kung Fu: The Next Generation, centered on Lee’s character, though it did not go beyond the pilot stage. There also was Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, an American-Canadian series, which aired four seasons from 1993-97.

    It has been another big development season for Berlanti Prods., which has 10 series on the air. The company’s sales include three other put pilot commitments — for an untitled legal drama written by Martin Gero & Brendan Gall at CBS; the White House political drama Republic, written by Alex Berger, at NBC; and light hourlong procedural God Friended Me at CBS, from Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt and Marcos Siega. Additionally, Berlanti Prods. has three projects set up at the CW including The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, eyed as a Riverdale companion.

    Mericle’s first writing job was on Berlanti’s first series as a creator, Everwood. She also worked with him on Jack & Bobby and Eli Stone before joining Arrow after the pilot, rising to executive producer. She is repped by CAA and attorney Nina Shaw. Berlanti is with WME.

    Here’s the original Kung Fu sequence:
    A Shaolin nun. Interesting twist.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2
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    green lit

    ‘Kung Fu’ Sequel Drama From Albert Kim & Berlanti Prods. Set At Fox As Put Pilot
    by Nellie Andreeva
    October 9, 2018 5:00pm


    Courtesy of UTA

    Fox has given a put pilot commitment to Kung Fu, a present-day sequel to the 1970s David Carradine-starring TV series, from former Sleepy Hollow executive producer Albert Kim, Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros. TV, where the company is based.


    Courtesy of International Emmy Awards

    Written by Kim, Kung Fu is an action-driven procedural about a young Chinese-American woman who inherits her father’s kung fu studio, only to discover it’s actually a secret center dedicated to helping members of the Chinatown community who have nowhere else to turn. With the help of a former star pupil — a smart and driven ex-Marine — she vows to continue the school’s mission. In the process, she discovers things she never knew about her cultural background and family’s heritage, including a connection to a legendary ancestor.

    That legendary ancestor presumably is Carradine’s character from the original series, Shaolin monk Kwai Chang Caine. The 1970s series, created by Ed Spielman, chronicled the adventures of Caine who travels the American Old West armed only with his spiritual training — including a ton of aphorisms — and his skill in martial arts in search of his half.


    WBTV

    Last year, Fox, Berlanti Prods. and WBTV developed a more straight-forward female-lead reboot of the original series with a different writer. The period drama, which did not go to pilot, followed 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.

    Because Fox was Kung Fu‘s home last year, I hear the new take was taken to that network first, and Fox brass bought it with a put pilot commitment. Kim executive produces with Berlanti Prods.’ Berlanti and Sarah Schechter.


    Fox

    Kim most served as executive producer/co-showrunner on Fox/20th TV’s Sleepy Hollow, and before that as writer/co-executive producer on the CW/Warner Bros. TV’s Nikita. He also developed at WBTV last season. Kim is repped by ICM Partners and attorney Jeff Frankel.

    This is Berlanti Prods.’ fifth drama sale this broadcast pitch season. Kung Fu joins Prodigal Son, which also has a put pilot commitment at Fox. Elsewhere, the company has a pilot production commitment at CBS for The Secret To a Good Marriage, a put pilot at ABC with an untitled Nkechi Carroll project as well as a Batwoman DC adaptation at the CW, which is eyeing a pilot order. Berlanti and Schechter are repped by WME and attorney Patti Felker.

    As Fox prepares to go independent following Disney’s acquisition of major Fox assets, including 20th Century Fox TV, the network has been actively buying from indie studio WBTV. Fox takes ownership in all projects it buys from outside studios.
    "Lucy Chang, a Buddhist monk and kung fu master" - 'monk' typically refers to men in English. Should be 'nun'. But never mind. Looks like they abandoned that concept.

    I think Finn Jones would be a good fit for the ex-marine.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  3. #3
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    Now CW

    I watch more CW shows than any other broadcast network nowadays. Which isn't saying that much because I seldom watch broadcast networks nowadays.

    NEWS
    ‘Kung Fu’ Female-Led Reboot From Christina M. Kim, Martin Gero & Berlanti Prods. In Works At The CW
    By Nellie Andreeva, Denise Petski
    November 6, 2019 12:30pm


    Chris Kapa/Maarten de Boer

    The CW has put in development Kung Fu, a reimagining with a female lead of the 1970s David Carradine-starring TV series. The hourlong project hails from the Blindspot team of writer-executive producer Christina M. Kim, creator-executive producer Martin Gero, executive producers Greg Berlanti & Sarah Schechter and Warner Bros. TV, where Kim, Gero and Berlanti Prods. are under deals.


    WBTV

    Written by Kim, inspired by the original series created by Ed Spielman, in the reimagined Kung Fu, a quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice…all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.



    Kim and Gero executive produce via Gero’s Quinn’s House Production Company, which produces in association with Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. Berlanti and Schechter executive produce for Berlanti Prods.

    Two incarnations of the project with different writers — both featuring a female lead — were in development at Fox the last two seasons from Berlanti Prods and Warner Bros. TV with a put pilot commitment. Neither went to pilot.


    The CW
    Berlanti Prods. and WBTV have a successful track record moving to CW projects that had been originally developed at Fox. The CW hit Riverdale and DC drama Black Lightning both originated as Fox development before migrating to the CW.

    Kim has been with Blindspot since the first season, starting as a co-executive producer and rising to executive producer in Season 4. Her other credits include consulting producer on Hawaii Five-O and co-executive producer on NCIS: Los Angeles. She began her TV career as a story editor on Lost.

    Gero also is executive producing The Service, a one-hour drama from writer Drew Lindo (The 100, Reign), via his Quinn’s House and WBTV, which has received a script commitment with penalty at Fox.

    Gero, who also created The L.A. Complex and has been working on a reboot for the CW, did stints on several Stargate series: Stargate Atlantis — on which he rose to showrunner — Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Universe. At WBTV, in addition to creating, executive producing and showrunning Blindspot — which is heading into a fifth season on NBC — Gero also executive produced the ABC series Deception.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  4. #4
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    Cw

    Hang on now...CW? Does this mean it's going to be some soap opera-esque series like the Arrowverse?

    Actually, that might be kinda good...

    JANUARY 30, 2020 5:00PM PT
    ‘Kung Fu’ Reboot, ‘Republic of Sarah’ Ordered to Pilot at CW
    By JOE OTTERSON
    TV Reporter
    @https://twitter.com/joeotterson


    CREDIT: COURTESY OF THE CW

    The CW has ordered pilots for the dramas “Kung Fu” and “The Republic of Sarah.” Both projects were previously set up at different networks prior to coming to CW.

    “Kung Fu” is a reboot of the original series created by Ed Spielman. In the new version, a quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice, all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.

    The project was previously set up at Fox with a put pilot order. Christina M. Kim will write and executive produce. Martin Gero will executive produce via Quinn’s House along with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Productions. Warner Bros. Television will produce. Kim, Gero, and Berlanti Productions are all currently under overall deals at WBTV.

    The reboot has been in the works for some time, with Wendy Mericle originally attached to write before Albert Kim came onboard in 2018. The original “Kung Fu” starred David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin monk who traveled the Old West in search of his brother. The series ran for three seasons on ABC.

    Christina M. Kim has been a writer and producer on the NBC drama “Blindspot,” which was created by Gero and produced by Berlanti Productions, since the show’s first season. Her other credits include “Lost,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and “Ghost Whisperer.”

    In “The Republic of Sarah,” rebellious high school teacher Sarah Cooper utilizes an obscure cartographical loophole to declare independence from the U.S. when faced with the destruction of her town at the hands of a greedy mining company. Now Sarah must lead a young group of misfits as they attempt to start their own country from scratch.

    A previous iteration of the show was set up at CBS last year with a pilot order but was ultimately passed over. Jeffrey Paul King remains attached as writer and executive producer, as do executive producers Marc Web via Black Lamb and Jeff Grosvenor and Leo Pearlman of Fulwell 73. Mark Martin of Black Lamb will also executive produce. CBS Television Studios will produce. Fulwell is currently under a deal at the studio.

    These two pilots mark the first formal pilot orders for The CW of the 2020-2021 season. The network previously ordered backdoor pilots for both an “Arrow” spinoff about the Canaries and a prequel to “The 100.” The CW also gave series orders to a “Walker, Texas Ranger” reboot starring Jared Padalecki and to “Superman & Lois” starring Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch.
    One more question. Is this different than the Leitch project announced a week+ ago? Like is that a movie and this a TV show?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  5. #5
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    Tzi Ma!

    ‘Kung-Fu’: Tzi Ma & Kheng Hua Tan To Co-Star In the CW Reboot Pilot
    By Nellie Andreeva
    February 18, 2020 11:23am


    Photos: Diana Ragland, Shevonne Wong

    EXCLUSIVE: Tzi Ma (The Man In the High Castle, The Farewell) and Kheng Hua Tan (Marco Polo, Crazy Rich Asians) have been cast as series regulars in the CW pilot Kung Fu, a reimagining with a female lead of the 1970s David Carradine-starring TV series. Ma and Kheng will play the parents of the protagonist in the project, from Christina M. Kim, Martin Gero, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Warner Bros. TV, where Kim, Gero and Berlanti Prods. are under deals.

    Written by Kim, inspired by the original series created by Ed Spielman, in the new Kung Fu, a quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice…all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.

    Ma and Kheng will play the woman’s father, Jin Chen, and mother Mei-Li — a husband-and-wife restaurateurs whose secrets threaten to destroy their lives just as they deal with the return of their estranged daughter.

    Kim and Gero executive produce via Gero’s Quinn’s House Production Company, which produces in association with Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. Berlanti and Schechter executive produce for Berlanti Prods.

    Together with his parents and four of his siblings, Ma worked in a family-owned restaurant on Staten Island when growing up. His extensive acting resume includes major roles on Wu Assassins, Veep, The Man In the High Castle, 24, Hell On Wheels and Satisfaction. His feature credits include Arrival and The Farewell, Disney’s upcoming live-action Mulan and Netflix’s Tigertail. He is repped by BRS/Gage Talent Agency and Echelon Talent Management.

    Kheng, well known in her native Singapore and Malaysia, co-starred as Empress Dowager on the Netflix original series Marco Polo. She plays Kerry Chu, the mother of protagonist Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), in the Crazy Rich Asians movie franchise. Her English-language credits also include the Channel 4 limited series Chimerica and guest shots on Medical Police, Magnum P.I. and Grey’s Anatomy. She is repped by Zero Gravity, GVA Talent Agency and Fly Entertainment in Singapore.
    Still confused about whether this CW series is different from a feature film from Leitch.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  6. #6
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    Jon Prasida, Shannon Dang & Eddie Liu

    NEWS
    ‘Kung Fu’: Jon Prasida, Shannon Dang & Eddie Liu To Co-Star In the CW Reboot Pilot
    By Denise Petski
    Senior Managing Editor
    February 21, 2020 3:20pm


    (L-R) Jon Prasida, Shannon Dang and Eddie Liu
    Johnny Diaz Nicolaidis/Paul Smith//Kane Lieu

    EXCLUSIVE: Jon Prasida (Hiding), Shannon Dang (The L Word) and Eddie Liu (Silicon Valley) have been cast as series regulars in the CW pilot Kung Fu, a reimagining with a female lead of the 1970s David Carradine-starring TV series. It hails from Christina M. Kim, Martin Gero, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Warner Bros. TV.

    Written by Kim, inspired by the original series created by Ed Spielman, the new Kung Fu sees a quarter-life crisis causing a young Chinese-American woman to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice — all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and now is targeting her.


    The CW

    Prasida will play Ryan Chen, a quick-witted medical student who has to deal with the sudden return of his estranged older sister, Nicky.

    Dang will portray Althea Chen, Nicky’s larger-than-life older sister who’s newly engaged and on her way to planning her dream Chinese wedding.

    Liu will play Henry Chu, a martial arts instructor and Chinese art history buff who has instant chemistry with Nicky.

    They join previously announced series regulars Tzi Ma and Kheng Nua Tan.

    Kim and Gero executive produce via Gero’s Quinn’s House Production Company, which produces in association with Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. Berlanti and Schechter executive produce for Berlanti Prods.

    Prasida starred as Garys in the TV series Hiding, and went on to play the role of Lee in the TV series adaptation of the book series Tomorrow When The War Began. He most recently guest starred in the ABC drama Warriors and will next be seen in the upcoming TV series Harrow and Sando. He is repped by CBM Management in Australia and Silver Lining Entertainment in the U.S.

    Dang’s credits include include The L Word, Sorry For Your Loss, Veronica Mars, The Romanoffs, American Vandal and Doubt. She recently wrapped supporting roles in the comedy features Film Fest and Prison Logic. Dang is repped by Singular Talent and Working Entertainment.

    Liu is best known for his role as Doug in HBO’s Silicon Valley. He’s repped by Greene & Associates Talent Agency, A & R Management and attorney Jeff Bernstein.
    I'm not familiar with any of these actors. Would it be silly to ask if any of them have any martial arts skills?
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7

    Olivia Liang Cast As The Lead Of the CW Reboot Pilot

    By Nellie Andreeva for Deadline.com
    February 26, 2020 9:09am

    Attachment 10815

    The CW pilot Kung Fu has found its star in Legacies‘ Olivia Liang. She will headline the reimagining with a female lead of the 1970s David Carradine-starring TV series, which comes from Christina M. Kim, Martin Gero, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Warner Bros TV, where Kim, Gero and Berlanti Prods. are under deals.

    Written by Kim and inspired by the original series created by Ed Spielman, in the new Kung Fu, a quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman, Nicky Chen (Liang), to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice — all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.

    Liang joins previously cast Tzi Ma and Kheng Hua Tan, who play her parents, as well as Jon Prasida, Shannon Dang and Eddie Liu.

    Kim and Gero executive produce via Gero’s Quinn’s House Production Company, which produces in association with Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros TV. Berlanti and Schechter executive produce for Berlanti Prods.

    Chang’s casting in the CW/WBTV pilot Kung Fu pilot comes on the heels of her joining the network and studio’s drama series Legacies as a recurring earlier this season. She plays Alyssa Chang on The Vampire Diaries offshoot.

    Liang’s previous credits include Dating After College and guest shots on Grey’s Anatomy and One Day at a Time. She guest stars on the current second season of Hulu’s Into the Dark. Liang is repped by Abrams Artists Agency.

    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8
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    Does Olivia Liang know Kung Fu?



    CW’s ‘Kung Fu’ Reboot Pilot Directed By Hanelle M. Culpepper Shoots Next Month In Vancouver – Will Star Olivia Liang
    By Christopher Marc -February 27, 20200

    Yesterday, Deadline announced that Legacies actress Olivia Liang had landed the lead role in CW’s reboot of the David Carradine martial arts series Kung Fu.

    HN Entertainment has confirmed the pilot will be directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper and will shoot from March 9th to March 30th in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

    Hanelle’s credits include Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Discovery, Supergirl, The Flash, Gotham, Lucifer, and Quantico.

    Written by Kim and inspired by the original series created by Ed Spielman, in the new Kung Fu, a quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman, Nicky Chen (Liang), to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice — all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.

    Carradine was famously chosen over martial arts legend Bruce Lee for the lead role on the original series.

    At the same time, Warner Bros. is developing a feature film adaption with director David Leitch (Deadpool 2, Hobbs & Shaw, Atomic Blonde, John Wick).

    If CW likes the pilot they’ll likely give Kung Fu a series order.
    This is the first article to distinguish between the Leitch film and the CW TV pilot. I should probably split the threads at some point.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #9
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    Kung Fu Sneak Peek and Q&A | WonderCon@Home 2021

    Gene Ching
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    Brett Chan

    I find it fascinating that Warrior & Kung Fu are both choreographed by Brett Chan. This two shows are like yin and yang when it comes to choreo quality.

    Jun 3, 2021 9:05am PT
    ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘Kung Fu’ and ‘Warrior’ Stunt Coordinator on Keeping Fights Grounded in Character


    By Danielle Turchiano


    Brett Chan
    Courtesy of David Bukach
    With more than two decades in the business, Brett Chan has racked up quite the résumé as both a stunt performer and a coordinator. On the small screen alone he has dozens of credits from superhero dramas “Arrow” and “Supergirl,” to Netflix’s “Altered Carbon.” Now, he is responsible for the stunts on a quartet of high-adrenaline series: TNT’s “Snowpiercer,” WarnerMedia’s “Warrior,” the CW’s “Kung Fu,” and the upcoming “Halo” for Paramount Plus.

    How does a character’s backstory affect the kind of fight style you create for them, especially on a show like “Snowpiercer” where people from all walks of life are crammed on that train?
    It’s basically characters first, and then you have to elaborate from there. Daveed Diggs’ [character Andre Layton] was an ex-police officer, and so was [Mickey Sumner’s Bess] Till, but they both have very different backgrounds in terms of what their positions were in the police force. [Layton] had been on the force for a little bit longer, so he had a little bit more of a street toughness to him. I tried to give them a little bit more adeptness because police do some basic self defense, gun disarms and how to deal with situations with multiple people or when you’re trying to keep a person [subdued]. It’s always harder to be police officer because you can’t just hit people, you always have to try and and incapacitate them by not striking at them, but at the same time keeping yourself safe. Neither Till nor [Layton] had any martial arts training. The Jackboots were trained military guys — soldier types — so we gave them a standard basic etiquette about how they move with their weapons and we gave them a little more regimented look. They had a definite order about they move in formation, and you have to because if you don’t and one side falters, then the line gets overrun and they can pull you over.

    Between Season 1 and Season 2 of shows like “Warrior” and “Snowpiercer,” did you have time to get in and train with any actors, or did they have to rely on muscle memory?
    If anything the actors came in more gung ho for Season 2: They loved the stunt team training room and spent more time in there than anywhere else. As more actors joined the “[Warrior”] cast in Season 2, it was more about trying to get them out of the stunt training room. Many of our stunt team remain very close with many of the actors. When Season 3 got renewed there was not any doubt that everyone would do whatever they needed to do in order to be a part of that season. It is an anomaly of a show and if you ever get to work on one like this in terms of the people and content of the project, you are lucky. It is one in a million. [Between seasons of “Snowpiercer”] there isn’t really time to do anything. It’s really up to the actors themselves. Mickey, in her spare time when she wasn’t filming, was training [such as in] jujitsu. It was on her own time. She just wants to train and kick butt — and she wants to be able to show women empowerment, that women don’t need to be saved by men all the time; they can have their own collective of how they survive, especially in that type of climate, where you have to be a little sneakier. She wanted to look like she was better at it, and she was really good and she picked it up really fast. We can definitely give her moves to make it look like she’s a fighter. And we always paired her with a really good dance partner, per se, so she can showcase what she’s doing.


    How does the train setting on “Snowpiercer” inform the scope of what you can accomplish in any given stunt sequence?
    It can’t be all martial arts. And we have cots in it and we’re dealing with extras. You’ve got to fill the train; you can’t have a car with 50 people and they’re all stunt guys. We have to be really cognizant of that, but we still have to make it look chaotic. We have to keep the action mitigated a certain way so that we can keep our actors safe and keep everyone else around them safe at the same time. I’ll either be able to choreograph on the actual train booth, depending on if they’re shooting or not. If not, then I’ll go tape out the dimensions of it and use boxes and choreograph everything in there. And it definitely limits what you can do and where you can go because the train walls aren’t all solid. Because we have to be able to take the walls off and on and move really fast between shots, that means we can’t always bang against the train walls or they’ll fall and hurt people.

    Do you have leeway to have walls moved if you need a bit more room for something special?
    They built some trains to be like that, like the Night Car: it’s supposed to be like a giant, two-level thing and it’s wider. But it’s definitely confining and it limits the weapons you can use because if you start putting long weapons in there and you’re swinging them around, you’re hitting people behind you and in front of you. But we’ve had no injuries!

    The second season finale had an unexpected dog attack stunt. How complicated was that to pull off, given everything you’ve already talked about as limitations?
    We used the actual trainer to be the person the dog attacks because he knows that person already. A dog comes on set, no one’s going to touch him, no one’s allowed to pet him, [there’s] no, “Oh you’re so cute!” You can’t do that because the dog’s got to keep the focus. We keep all things off the set that don’t need to be there because that changes the parameter of things, too.

    What sequence did you feel was the most complicated to choreograph and then successfully achieve on the day of production on Season 2 of “Warrior”?
    Episode 205’s Zing vs. Li Yong fight and the Episode 209 riot sequence with the individual fights were the most difficult because of logistics involved due to the time we had. We were shooting four episodes at once and I was action directing all of them while still choreographing and doing other work for them. Additionally I was in development for Episode 6 simultaneously. Episode 205’s saving grace was director Loni Peristere. He gave me full control to go to town, allowing me to time manage. He was extremely collaborative. For Episode 209, director Denny Gordon was also extremely collaborative and was a large reason I was able to execute such a difficult sequence. If I had to pick one fight that was the most complicated it would definitely be the riot with the individual fights in Episode 209.

    When you have characters like Ah Sahm, who are martial arts experts when they are introduced, what is your philosophy about “topping” the fights and sequences, to continuously show off more of those characters’ skills?
    I don’t know if it is just because they are cool fights or needing to “top a fight,” but more of that I think it all comes down to the story and the characters. Really, a fight is just a fight — but if you give it the story and individual characteristics associated with each character at that moment in time, the motivation for the fight becomes more meaningful and has more impact. As storylines changed in Season 2, so did our fight sequences.

    How different was experience on “Kung Fu,” in which Olivia Liang, who plays the lead, had no martial arts training before the show but whose character needed to look like an expert?
    Even after 10 years, you won’t even really be really that good in a stylistic martial art, and this is specifically stylistic. I said, “They need a little bit of martial arts training, give me eight weeks to train them.” But they gave me this girl who had no martial arts training and five days to to train her. None of the leads had martial arts training. But when they showed up, all they did was train. Olivia said, “I don’t care, I want to train Saturdays, Sundays.” We trained four to six hours a day. She has a dance background so she did fantastic, and she’s just getting better and better.

    How does the mysticism element of “Kung Fu” affect what you are creating?
    The show was never meant to be “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” has its audience has its genre, and it’s fantastic, but Christina [M. Kim], the showrunner, basically said, “Let’s ground it.” So, it was about keeping the kung fu grounded into daily fighting, but keeping the flair of the styles. We pick her movements depends on the style. Tiger is a very aggressive style, while crane is not. So you see a lot of crane, but when she’s angry, you’ll see the tiger come out. And then we start blending the two together, which starts leveling off her emotional levels. We tried giving that purpose to everybody.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  11. #11
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    Catharsis

    Watching Martial Arts Movies Amid Anti-Asian Violence Is Much-Needed Catharsis
    Movies and TV shows like 'The Paper Tigers' and 'Warrior' show the beauty of Asian American survival.
    By Frances Nguyen
    June 8, 2021, 4:00am


    IMAGE VIA YOUTUBE
    When I saw the opening seven minutes of Mortal Kombat on Instagram, it was the first time I’d felt anything in the realm of joy in over a month. Given the contents of the clip, I was also a little horrified at myself.

    Faithful to its video game source material, the violence in the film begins almost immediately. Within the opening minutes, a woman dies. A child dies. Hanzo Hasashi—the man who will become Scorpion, the character in the game I played most often growing up—liberates what looks like quarts of blood from the bodies of his masked opponents before confronting his nemesis, the man who will become the ice-wielding assassin Sub-Zero. The teaser leaves you at the edge of a fight that promises to be an enthralling one; here, once again, someone will surely die violently.


    The theatrically gory film was an odd source of comfort during the weeks-long despondency I felt following a series of shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of whom were women of Asian descent. With a never-ending reel of brutal violence against Asians circulating online, there was something refreshing about escaping into a world populated by people who look like me and who are portrayed as strong.

    Coming at the end of a year that gave rise to more than 6,600 reported instances of anti-Asian hate between March 2020 and March 2021, and where assaults continue almost daily across the country, watching a group of Asian characters wield their bodies with physics-defying agility and precision to deliver bouts that look and feel more like physical dialogue than combat made for a stark contrast to the images I was seeing on news broadcasts and social media, which tend to foreground Asian bodies as quiet, passive vessels for someone else’s rage.

    Examining some of the most brutal recorded attacks that have taken place this year—on elders Vicha Ratanapakdee, Vilma Kari, and Yao Pan Ma—the abridged stories captured on camera repeat the same refrain: The Asian body appears and is brutalized; that’s all that we see. For Asian Americans, these scenes invite us to participate in a ritual of vicarious trauma: Without sound, our minds train instead on the movements of the bodies that appear on screen. We imagine ourselves and our loved ones in the only body that bears our likeness—the victim’s—and our own bodies are activated by the input of threat.

    Up until recently, however, Hollywood has arguably done little to provide counter-narratives to these stories, narratives that acknowledge the real-life experiences and agency of the individuals who are navigating what it means to be Asian in America in real time. A report released last month—co-authored by sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen, author of Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism, and Stacy L. Smith, founder of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative—revealed that in the top 100 films of 2019, just over a quarter of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) characters die by the end of the film—and all but one dies violently. The study also notes that 42 percent of the API characters experienced disparagement, including racist/sexist slurs, with 30 percent being tokenized (meaning they were the only Asian character in the film or scene) and 67 percent channeling tired Asian stereotypes. Notably, only 13 percent were portrayed as “fully human,” (ie, complex characters with agency) which the report measured in terms of them having a wide spectrum of relationships.

    I wasn’t alone in gravitating toward media where strong Asian characters took center stage. After the shootings in Atlanta—and after the video of Vilma Kari’s attack went viral—Yuen, the report’s co-author, told me that she and her friends started watching Kung Fu on The CW, a reboot of the 70s show starring David Carradine that premiered in early April.

    Though the original was not without its shortcomings (the lead role, of a half-Chinese Shaolin monk who wanders the Wild West, went to the white actor instead of Bruce Lee, despite Carradine having no prior martial arts training), the CW series gives the story a 21st century update. This time around, the lead is an Asian woman—and, importantly, an Asian woman who kicks ass. Olivia Liang’s Nicky Shen stands alone as the only Asian American woman lead on network television right now, and her characterization as a strong and capable defender of her hometown of San Francisco offers some counterweight to the blunt fact that Asian women are twice as likely to report being targets of anti-Asian hate than Asian men are.

    “Certainly, our show is not the solution, but I hope that we are a part of the solution,” showrunner Christina M. Kim said in a press conference a day after the Atlanta shootings.

    As Yuen sees it, the show’s main draw is its constellation of rich characters with developed backstories. “As an Asian American watching it, I feel empowered, not just because there’s martial arts but also in seeing people who aren’t just the sidekick, or the friend, or the villain,” she said. “They are the leads, and you feel like you can see yourself in different parts of them.” Ultimately, she said, that’s the goal of the report: for Hollywood to represent API characters as complex, multidimensional human beings—just like in real life.

    The Kung Fu reboot isn’t the only recent work that draws on martial arts as a vehicle for telling more three-dimensional human stories. The Paper Tigers—a charming comedy about three washed-up, middle-aged former kung fu disciples looking to avenge their sifu’s murder—uses the martial art as a way of telling a story about redemption, brotherhood, and becoming men.

    Released to streaming platforms and select theaters on May 7, The Paper Tigers complicates the strong-versus-weak narrative by presenting its heroes as both in different moments. They’re strong when they’re aligned to the teachings of kung fu—which espouse traditional Eastern values like honor, discipline, humility, and bravery—and weak, both physically and morally, when they stray from them. Throughout the film, the men contend with choosing when to fight and when to walk away: When his son gets beat up by the school bully, Danny, the lead character, tells the boy that he should have walked away from the kid who has been terrorizing him and his friend. Later, after one of the Tigers is sorely wounded, Danny heads off to a fight, but not before calling his son to tell him that he’s proud of him for sticking up for his friend. Fearing that he might not make it to see another day, he tells his son how to make a fist, but offers this information with a warning: “If you go looking for a fight, that makes you the bully.”

    Beyond the moments of pitch-perfect comedy (see: the many fortune cookie-worthy proverbs doled out by a white sifu, the men’s former schoolmate rival, in Cantonese, which none of them understand), there’s also something deeply gratifying about seeing bodies, out of practice for 25 years, reckon with their limitations and slowly relearn their discipline, building back their strength over time. Tran Quoc Bao, the film’s writer and director, said he wanted to highlight martial arts as a practice of discovering one’s inner strength, and learning the right moment to express it. “With martial arts,” he said, “it’s that constant sharpening of the sword knowing that you can hang it up and not use it.”
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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    Continued from previous post

    As it turns out, the film’s resonance with the present moment is something of a coincidence: Tran conceived the story a decade ago, drawing on his experiences growing up in a multicultural martial arts community in Seattle. He never imagined it would be released during a pandemic, much less at a time of surging racist violence.

    “Obviously, there’s a different subtext now that kind of lingers in the air,” he told me. Still, with its subtle allusions to race and cultural appropriation, the film hits upon facets of the Asian American experience that feel just as relevant now as they did several decades ago. Importantly, it’s also an Asian American film that exists on its own terms. Though it centers non-white experience, it doesn’t announce itself as such—not to the point of color-blindness, but in a way where cultural difference feels normal, and honored.

    It’s nice to see martial arts, and kung fu especially, treated with reverence and respect. Although kung fu and martial arts movies have been a part of Hollywood’s diet since the 70s, the form has too often been relegated to an unintentional sub-genre of comedy—one replete with its fair share of racist stereotypes. As the report notes, a large component of the anti-Asian racism perpetuated in pop culture is the representation of Asian men as weak and effeminate compared to their Western counterparts—an emasculation that continues to be expressed by Hollywood through the physical domination of Asian characters by predominantly white leading characters.

    One of the most notorious examples is Quentin Tarantino’s characterization of Lee, the most beloved and celebrated martial artist of all time. In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the Lee character—caricatured as a toxically masculine showboat—challenges Brad Pitt’s stuntman character Cliff Booth to a three-round fight. It technically results in a draw, but Lee walks away humiliated after Booth handily throws him into a car.

    Yuen described the scene as exemplifying American pop culture’s impulse “to take a strong Asian man down a notch.”

    “They get these really amazing Asian actors who are at the top of their martial arts game, and then they have the white lead beat them up in order to show his prowess and maintain a kind of racial hierarchy,” she said.

    Not surprisingly, over the past year, there have been disturbing reflections of that dynamic in real life. After a man of Chinese descent was assaulted in an unprovoked attack outside New York City’s Penn Station in March, his attacker reportedly assumed a mocking kung fu stance before fleeing the scene.

    “It makes them feel better about themselves to beat up an Asian whom they feel is the enemy, because Hollywood has historically represented Asians as enemies,” said Yuen. Trump’s “kung flu” rhetoric from last year, part of his campaign to scapegoat Asians as foreign vectors of disease, certainly hasn’t helped.

    Warrior, a Cinemax original series with an Asian-dominant cast that premiered in 2019, is yet another martial arts-related project that attempts to examine and subvert this sort of racist scapegoating. With a premise conceived by the late Bruce Lee himself, the show is set during the Tong Wars of San Francisco in the 1870s—a period in American history that arguably gave birth to some of the most enduring and damaging Asian American stereotypes, from that of the disease-carrying foreigner to the Chinatown gangster and the brothel worker. The series follows Ah Sahm (played by Andrew Koji), a kung fu prodigy who becomes a hatchet man for a powerful tong, or criminal brotherhood, as it vies with rivals in Chinatown for control over resources. Notably, it’s set on the eve of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which effectively banned all immigration from China until 1943, in addition to prohibiting Chinese immigrants from becoming American citizens.

    “[In the show], we are dealing with the introduction of the Chinese mythology and propaganda machine,” said Olivia Cheng, who plays Ah Toy, a fictionalized version of the eponymous Chinatown madame known as the first recorded Chinese prostitute in America. In an interview with VICE, Cheng said that she was challenged with not only honoring the real Ah Toy’s life but also playing against the traps of one of Hollywood’s favorite and most harmful tropes about Asian women: the “dragon lady,” an Asian femme fatale who wields power through sex.

    I began the show a month after the Atlanta shootings, shortly after it was announced that the series would be renewed for a third season, on HBO Max. Given the heartbreak and impotence I felt, I wasn’t surprised to find myself drawn to Ah Toy, an Asian female character who seems fully possessed of her power as she navigates gender dynamics and a racist criminal justice system—power structures that are not only designed to oppress her but that render women like her entirely disposable. In the first season, when the police raid Ah Toy’s brothel as a means of signalling to its white citizens that it’s “cracking down” on Chinatown crime, she bribes the sergeant with a few calm words and a small red envelope. “A gift for Chinese New Year,” she says, meeting his gaze with an unflinching stare.

    Cheng told me that other Asian women have expressed being triggered by her character’s profession, which she understands. She said she had to overcome her own reticence about Ah Toy, but ultimately decided to lead with her character’s humanity. “I definitely feel a responsibility,” she said. “I think you’d have to be incredibly vacuous to be in my position and not.”

    Every character in Warrior contends with different articulations of power, said Shannon Lee, executive producer of the show and Bruce Lee’s daughter. “We’re presenting power when it gets out of control and the people who have to participate in that culture, who are the victims of that culture but who don’t think of themselves as victims,” she said. “They think of themselves as humans. They want what every human wants, and are fighting for it.”

    As violent as Warrior can be (and disquietingly close to our current reality), I have been enjoying getting to know these kaleidoscopic characters—people who reveal new sides of themselves with every power play. Even as I tense at the scenes of racist confrontation (in the opening two minutes of the series, a white immigration officer singles out a man disembarking from the boat, calls him “Ching Chong,” and knocks him to the ground), I can take cover in characters with the agency to defend themselves. I can see them fight, and I can see them win.

    “Catharsis is something that people need right now,” said Hoon Lee, who plays Wang Chao, a quick-witted black market arms dealer. “In the context of a show, you can experience—and, hopefully, exorcise—some of that rage that you might not know what to do with otherwise. That’s a primary function of storytelling.”

    Martial arts might be a safe bet for a Hollywood looking for low-hanging fruit when it comes Asian representation, but in this new slate of film and television shows, it’s also the Trojan Horse: a vehicle for Asian characters whose identities are as layered and complex as people are in real life. And while, yes, these bodies encounter brutal violence, they survive to experience what lies beyond it—joy, grief, rage, and humor together. In devastating times like these, we need storytelling that shows us that access to the full spectrum of human experience is possible—not just suffering.

    threads
    Stop-Asian-Hate
    Warrior
    Kung Fu
    Once-Upon-a-Time-in-Hollywood
    Mortal-Kombat-2021-reboot
    Gene Ching
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  13. #13
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    Anyone watching?

    I've seen every ep but the finale, which I plan to watch soon. That's not bragging. I'm not sure what that is.

    But this is sweet.
    Watch injury turn into a surprise engagement for stunt doubles on set of Kung Fu
    By Rachel Yang July 22, 2021 at 09:06 PM EDT

    The cast of Kung Fu pulled off an epic stunt recently, and it had nothing to do with martial arts.

    The stunt doubles for stars Olivia Liang and Eddie Liu got engaged on the set of the CW action drama while filming the season 1 finale.

    Liang shared a video on Thursday of the epic moment, which happened after Ken Do (who does stunts for Liu's character Henry Yan) tripped and landed on the ground. Megan Hui, filming the scene as Liang's Nicky Shen, quickly approached him in concern.

    After some excellent acting, Do pulled out the ring and popped the question, prompting oohs and ahhs from the cast and crew.

    Hui's stunned reaction had Do double-checking: "Is that a yes?" It was of course a yes and the couple hugged and kissed, with Hui shedding some happy tears. The beautiful moment was capped off by cheers and claps from the Kung Fu team, many of whom helped make the surprise happen.

    "the best best best part of shooting the finale was planning the engagement of our superstar stunt doubles," Liang wrote on Twitter, with plenty of crying emojis. "Megan Hui and Ken Do are the kindest, most generous, and most mega talented people i've ever met. so proud to be Megan's acting double"

    Hui expressed her excitement and gratitude to her now-fiancé and everyone who helped plan the engagement "months in advance," including Liang, Liu, Jon Prasida (who plays Ryan Shen), Yvonne Chapman (Zhilan), Tony Chung (Dennis Soong), director Joe Menendez, and some of his fellow stunt performers.

    "BOY DID YOU SURPRISE ME @kendo482 ! Last shot after filming the final fight for the season finale of @cw_kungfu and I thought you broke your ankle lol," Hui said on Instagram. "I feel so fortunate to be able to call you all my friends and super blessed to now be engaged to my best one."

    Hui also included some fun photos on set, like one of her and Do with their "acting doubles" Liang and Liu in matching outfits.

    The sweet setup even got the attention of Henry Golding, who commented, "YEESSSSSS Love this guys ♥️🙌🏼 congrats."

    Hui was a stunt double in the movie Snake Eyes, which stars Golding. Hui and Do have also done stunts together for films like Deadpool 2, Skyscraper, Wu Assassins, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, and more. Hui has also appeared as the character Biyu in two episodes of Kung Fu. The series, a reboot of the 1970s show, got renewed for a second season in May, a month after it debuted.
    Gene Ching
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    Finale fell by a 10th

    ‘Big Brother’ Wins Wednesday Ratings, ‘The $100,000 Pyramid’ Takes Viewers; CW’s ‘Kung Fu’ Season Finale Falls From Debut
    By Alexandra Del Rosario
    TV Reporter
    @_amvdr

    July 22, 2021 11:57am

    CBS
    Unscripted programs ruled Wednesday evening as CBS’ Big Brother and ABC’s The $100,000 Pyramid marked the evening’s highest-rated and most-watched titles, respectively.

    The latest installment of Big Brother was the most-watched program in the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. timeslot, airing to 3.33 million viewers and gaining a 0.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic, per Nielsen Live + Same Day Day fast affiliates. Big Brother bested NBC’s Olympic Dreams Featuring Jonas Brothers special (0.3, 2.49M). ABC’s Press Your Luck was the second most-watched title of the hour (0.5, 3.29M).

    Also in the same hour was the Kung Fu season one finale. The season ender, which saw a major showdown between Olivia Liang’s Nicky Shen and Yvonne Chapman’s Zhilan, aired to approximately 832,000 viewers and drew in a 0.1 rating. The finale fell from the series’ debut in April (0.2, 1.4M) by a tenth in ratings and about 40% viewers.

    Later in the evening, The $100,000 Pyramid ruled the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. slot taking in a 0.5 rating and 3.60 million viewers. Following behind were Chicago Fire (0.2, 1.83M) and Love Island (0.3, 1.62M). Crime Scene Kitchen closed off its first season crowning Natalie Collins-Fish and Luis Flores as the winners, but the season ender (0.3, 1.55M) failed to be the cherry on top viewers and ratings-wise.


    ABC’s Match Game closed out Primetime winning the 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. time slot (0.4, 2.80M).
    I'm astonished how much good press this show has received. I'm just going to say it - Tokenism?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  15. #15
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    Yvonne Chapman

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    BREAKING NEWS
    ‘Kung Fu’: Yvonne Chapman Upped To Series Regular For Season 2

    By Denise Petski
    Senior Managing Editor

    August 26, 2021 2:35pm


    EXCLUSIVE: Yvonne Chapman, who heavily recurred as villain Zhilan on the first season of the CW’s Kung Fu, has been promoted to series regular for Season 2.


    Laura Baldwinson
    Chapman’s Zhilan, a hard-edged and cunning assassin, is ruthless in achieving her goals. After stealing an ancient sword from Nicky’s shifu Pei-Ling–and nearly killing Nicky in the process–Zhilan flees China and begins her pursuit of the rest of the mystical weapons. The mystery of Zhilan’s identity, and her real intentions with those weapons, will fuel Nicky’s quest for justice.

    Kung Fu follows a young Chinese American woman, Nicky Shen, played by Olivia Liang, whose quarter-life crisis causes her to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to San Francisco, she finds her hometown is overrun with crime and corruption and her own parents Jin (Tzi Ma) and Mei-Li (Kheng Hua Tan) are at the mercy of a powerful Triad. Nicky will rely on her tech-savvy sister Althea (Shannon Dang) and Althea’s fiancé Dennis (Tony Chung), pre-med brother Ryan (Jon Prasida), Assistant District Attorney and ex-boyfriend Evan (Gavin Stenhouse), and new love interest Henry (Eddie Liu) as well as her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice…all while searching for the ruthless assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor Pei-Ling (Vanessa Kai) and is now targeting her.

    Christina M. Kim wrote the pilot episode and serves as executive producer/co-showrunner with Robert Berens. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Martin Gero and David Madden also serve as executive producers. Hanelle Culpepper directed and co-executive produced the pilot episode. Kung Fu is produced by Berlanti Productions and Quinn’s House in association with Warner Bros. Television and is inspired by the original series created by Ed Spielman.

    Chapman is repped by The Characters Talent Agency and Jared Schwartz at Industry Entertainment.
    I kinda like her character but I'm a sucker for villainesses.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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