Donnie Yen in 'Ip Man 3.'

Donnie Yen in 'Ip Man 3.' Photo: Pegasus Motion Pictures.


  • Donnie Yen is starring in a ‘Kung Fu’ movie.
  • It’ll be based on the 1970s TV series.
  • ‘Bullet Train’s David Leitch is producing the film.

It would appear that, after working on a movie based on a 1980s TV series (that would be the upcoming Ryan Gosling vehicle ‘The Fall Guy’), ‘Bullet Train’ and ‘Atomic Blonde’ director David Leitch is drawing on some more nostalgia for a future project.

Leitch, working with his 87North company (where he produces films alongside business partner/wife Kelly McCormick) is overseeing development of a movie based on ‘Kung Fu’.

And the team is lining up quite the action veteran to star, as Donnie Yen is now aboard, according to Deadline.

What’s the Story of ‘Kung Fu’?

David Carradine in 'Kung Fu.'

David Carradine in 'Kung Fu.' Photo: ABC.

Created by Ed Spielman, the original series ran between 1972 and 1975 on ABC and starred David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a master martial artist who fled China after his master was murdered.

He wandered the Old West helping the downtrodden and weathering rampant racism while eluding assassins trying to kill him. He was a peaceful man until provoked, which happened at least once an episode.

The racism angle was somewhat controversial as, according to Bruce Lee’s widow, the martial arts legend came up with the concept and was intending to star as Caine, only to be told that an American audience was not ready for an Asian lead.

But the producers have since disputed this, saying they consulted Lee but ultimately went with Carradine.

‘Kung Fu’ was rebooted by the CW for a show starring Olivia Liang as a young martial arts expert protecting her family and investigating mysteries in San Francisco. That series ran between 2021 and 2023.

What’s Happening with the New Movie?

Donnie Yen in 'Ip Man 3.'

Donnie Yen in 'Ip Man 3.' Photo: Pegasus Motion Pictures.

The new movie will see Yen taking over the lead role, with a script by ‘War Dogs’ writer Stephen Chin.

Here’s what Leitch said about the casting:

“Donnie Yen is both an immensely talented actor and an action film legend, and it is a privilege to have a true martial arts master leading this global film. With Donnie in place as our leading man, it will be a thrill to collaborate with him, our creative partners, and Universal in reimagining this beloved story for the big screen.”

Leitch may end up directing the movie, though he has not made a deal to do that yet.

Yen needs little introduction, having pioneered the depiction of Mixed Martial Arts moves in such films as ‘Flashpoint’, while movies such as ‘Iron Monkey’, ‘Bodyguards’ and ‘Assassins’, ‘Wu Xia’ and ‘Kung Fu Jungle’ set a new standard for on-screen fighting. He has since become a major figure not only in Chinese Action Cinema but in movies worldwide. American audiences most recently saw him in ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’.

The Fall Guy

"Fall hard."
PG-132 hr 6 minMar 1st, 2024
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When is ‘The Fall Guy’ in cinemas?

Leitch’s latest film, which stars Emily Blunt and Aaron Taylor-Johnson alongside Gosling, hits theaters on May 3rd.

Director David Leitch and Ryan Gosling (as Colt Seavers) on the set of 'The Fall Guy.'

(L to R) Director David Leitch and Ryan Gosling (as Colt Seavers) on the set of 'The Fall Guy.'

Other David Leitch Movies:

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