Kung Fu is a brand new series coming to The CW that is a remake of a classic martial arts series from the ’70s titled Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.
That original series starred David Carradine in the lead role, but this time around, The CW has cast a female lead to deliver the butt-kicking action.
Here is everything we know so far about Kung Fu Season 1.
This article provides everything that is known about Kung Fu Season 1 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s dig down into what is known so far.
What is Season 1 of Kung Fu about?
The original series, Kung Fu, aired in 1972 and lasted for three seasons with David Carradine as a Shaolin monk who wanders alone through the American Old West with his spiritual training and his skill in martial arts to keep him alive.
The next series was Kung Fu: The Next Generation, which starred Brand Lee (The Crow). This was not picked up for series and only consisted of the pilot episode.
Next was Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, featuring a father-son duo, with David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin monk, and his son Peter (Chris Potter), a police detective.
Both men thought the other dead when their temple was destroyed. Kwai wandered the world while Peter was raised in foster care and became a cop. They reunited 15 years later, and that is where the show kicked off.
Thanks to the return of Carradine, this lasted four seasons.
It is now time for the fourth attempt at the Kung Fu franchise.
Set in the present day, a young Chinese-American woman leaves college and decides to journey to an isolated monastery in China. When she returns home, she uses her new martial arts skills to protect her community when San Francisco ends up overrun by a corrupt Triad.
She also has to deal with her estranged family and an assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.
Release date latest: When does Kung Fu Season 1 come out?
Kung Fu was ordered for a pilot way back in September 2017, from Greg Berlanti (Arrow) and Wendy Mericle. Originally, the show took place in the ’50s and was set more similar to the original, as she traveled through America.
However, things changed when it was ordered, and it was moved to present-day San Francisco.
Finally, in January 2020, Kung Fu was ordered for a pilot by The CW. Christina M. Kim and Martin Gero (Blindspot) are the showrunners.
In May, Kung Fu received a full-season order by The CW.
Most of the new The CW series will premiere in January 2021, but there is no word on whether or not Kung Fu is part of that initial lineup.
Kung Fu Season 1 cast updates
Olivia Lang (Legacies) signed on to star in Kung Fu as the lead. Lang will star as a Chinese-American woman, Nicky Chen, who drops out of college and travels to a Shaolin monastery before returning home to defend her town from a Triad.
Deadline reported that 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.
They will portray Nicky’s parents, Jin Chen and Mei-Li, husband-and-wife restaurateurs whose secrets threaten to destroy their lives just as they deal with the return of their estranged daughter.
Jon Prasida (Hiding) signed on to play Ryan Chen, a quick-witted medical student who has to deal with the sudden return of his estranged older sister, Nicky.
Shannon Dang (The L Word) will portray Althea Chen, Nicky’s larger-than-life older sister, newly engaged, and on her way to planning her dream Chinese wedding.
Eddie Liu was cast as Henry Chu, a martial arts instructor and Chinese art history buff who has instant chemistry with Nicky.
In March, Gavin Stenhouse (Black Mirror) signed on to play Evan Hartley, a highly successful Assistant District Attorney who still has a soft spot for his first love, Nicky, when she returns home.
Gwendoline Yeo (American Crime) Zhilan, a cryptic woman with deep criminal ties and a mysterious connection to the Shaolin monastery where Nicky trained in Kung Fu.
Her quest for power led her to murder Nicky’s mentor. She is now trying to kill Nicky as well.
In September, Vanessa Kai (New Amsterdam) joined the series as Pei-Ling Zhang, a skilled fighter, spiritual guide, and mentor to Nicky Shen (Liang), one of the dozens of monks that lived and trained in an all-female Shaolin temple buried deep in the mountains of Yuanyang province.
She is the mentor who died, and she appears in Nicky’s memories, giving her advice from the grave.
Tony Chung (Hours of Operation) joined the series in October as Dennis Soong, the beloved son of the wealthy Soong family and Nicky’s sister, Althena’s fiance.
The CW has yet to announce when Kung Fu Season 1 will premiere.