Donnie Yen to Star in ‘Kung Fu’ Feature Remake for Universal

“Bullet Train” director David Leitch is looking to direct

Donnie Yen
Donnie Yen (CREDIT: Courtesy of Universal)

“Ip Man” star Donnie Yen will star in a feature-film remake of the 1970s television series “Kung Fu” for Universal. David Leitch, Kelly McCormick and Guy Danella will produce their through company 87North, with Leitch looking to direct the movie. “War Dogs” screenwriter Stephen Chin will write the screenplay.

Stephen L’Hereaux will also act as a producer while Ed Spielman, creator of the original television series, will executive produce.

“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,” Leitch said in a statement. “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.”

Yen has had a lengthy career in the action drama, bringing MMA to prominence in films like “SPL/Kill Zone” and “Flashpoint.” He has become a major figure in both Chinese action cinema and in motion pictures worldwide. He was most recently seen in the Keanu Reeves-starring “John Wick: Chapter 4.” He’s also appeared in “Rogue One” and “xXx Return of Xander Cage.”

The original “Kung Fu” series ran for three seasons starting in 1972 and told the story of a Shaolin monk and martial artist who defends the downtrodden in the American Old West. David Carradine played the lead character in a role that has been controversial to modern audiences.

In 2021, The CW rebooted the series with Chinese American actress Olivia Liang in the main role. That series ran for three seasons as well and was canceled in 2023.


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