‘Kung Fu’: Donnie Yen To Star In David Leitch’s Big Screen Adaptation Of 1970s Martial Arts Series

Hot off his role battling Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4, Hong Kong legend Donnie Yen is ready to unleash more kung fu on the big screen. Deadline reports that Yen will star in Kung Fu, the big-screen take on the classic 1970s TV series that starred David Carradine.

David Leitch, who helped launch the John Wick franchise and also directed Deadpool 2, Bullet Train, and Atomic Blonde, is aboard as a producer with plans to direct. He’s been attached since 2020. Stephen Chin wrote the script.

Original Kung Fu creator, Ed Spielman, is an exec-producer on the project.

Yen is perfect for the role of Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin martial artist who fled China after his master’s murder. Wandering the Old West alone in search of his half-brother, Caine’s peaceful nature is often put to the test when called to fight against injustice.

Along with the lengthy list of Hong Kong classics to his credit, including his popular Ip Man franchise, Yen has starred in many blockbuster Hollywood films including Rogue One, Mulan, and the aforementioned John Wick: Chapter 4.

“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,” said Leitch. “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.”


Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.