What is Warner Bros and CW trying to achieve by doing a gender-swapped and race swapped reboot, Kung Fu?
Are CW and Warner Bros interested in producing progressive content on TV? Or it is just a strategy to win over the liberal audiences?
- How different is the female-led reboot from the 70s Kung Fu
- The hidden agenda behind the gender-swapped reboot of Kung Fu
- Release date updates of Kung Fu reboot drama
How different is the female-led reboot from the 70s Kung Fu
The Kung Fu reboot will star actress Olivia Liang in the lead role. Liang previously played Alyssa Chang in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ spin-off ‘Legacies’. The official synopsis of the Kung Fu reboot reads, “A quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman, Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang), to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. Afterward, she decides to return to her home town San Fransisco. She finds her hometown is in the grip of crime and corruption and her parents (Tzi Ma and Kheng Hua Tan) are at the mercy of a powerful Triad.
Nicky will rely on her tech-savvy sister (Shannon Dang), pre-med brother (Jon Prasida), assistant district attorney and ex-boyfriend (Gavin Stenhouse), the new love interest (Eddie Liu). Her martial arts skills and Shaolin values will help her to protect her community and bring criminals to justice. All this while she will be searching for the ruthless assassin (Gwendoline Yeo) who killed her Shaolin mentor. The enemy is now targeting her”.
The synopsis sounds more like Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman Begins’ than the original 70s cult classic Kung Fu starring David Carradine. In Kung Fu, the show from the 1970s, David Carradine plays Kwai Chang Caine, the orphaned son of an American man and a Chinese woman in 19th century China. Caine gets admitted into a Shaolin monastery and trains as a priest and martial arts expert following the death of his maternal grandfather.
The emperor’s nephew kills his mentor, so he retaliates and slays the nephew and is forced to flee to the western United States with a price on his head. While in the United States, he begins his search for his family’s roots and his half-brother Danny Caine.
The hidden agenda behind the gender-swapped reboot of Kung Fu
The female-led reboot of Kung Fu is next in the line of gender-swapped reboots of famous original series. Some of these reboots, like Netflix’s ‘Lost in Space‘ or ‘Oceans 8‘ was received well, while others were more poorly received, like 2016’s all-female ‘Ghostbusters‘ fiasco. There is something unique about the gender-swapped reboots that networks like CW are obsessed with nowadays. They can offer a change in the original story, not just in the lead characters’ genders, but how they handle situations. They are doing this so that the audiences don’t get sick of remakes.
Another goal is to make up for the original’s lack of diversity by casting an Asian actress for the role of Lucy. But many viewers aren’t happy with the reboot of the classic drama Kung Fu. They are predicting that Kung Fus’ female-led reboot would be typical feminist tripe. Fans would not be surprised if the makers turn the lead into a lesbian, something that has become an essential ingredient of the girl power narrative.
But fans appreciated the idea of the race–swapped Kung Fu. One user on Twitter wrote, “CW= Crap Watching … I have no issue with the race swapping as the original was stolen from Bruce Lee, however, yet another show where the 4′ 8″, 102-pound female lead tosses the 6′ 7″, 310-pound male attackers around like they’re nothing is just unworthy of watching”.
CW, like many networks, is trying to reach the audiences who have left TV and are opting of more progressive content on streaming giants like Netflix. However, fans have understood this strategy and are calling the step agenda-pushing propaganda.
Release date updates of Kung Fu reboot drama
Kung Fu was supposed to be part of CW’s midseason segment and would have premiered in late spring 2021. But, due to coronavirus led lockdown, productions all over the world faced shutdown. The entertainment world is facing an unprecedented crisis. In all likelihood, we can expect Kung Fu to air on CW in the fall segment, that is, by October 2021.
Whether you’re enjoying them or not, the Hollywood machine isn’t stopping with its gender-swapped reboots anytime soon. Let us know your views on gender-swapped Kung Fu in the comments box below.