"Kung Fu": "Star Trek: Picard" Director Hanelle Culpepper to Direct, Co-EP CW Pilot

Blindspot creators Christina M. Kim and Martin Gero's reimagining of '70s cult actioner Kung Fu has signed high-profile director Hanelle Culpepper (Star Trek: Picard, Mayans MC) to direct and co-executive produce the CW pilot. Jon Prasida (Hiding), Shannon Dang (The L Word), Eddie Liu (Silicon Valley), Tzi Ma (The Man In the High Castle), Kheng Hua Tan (Crazy Rich Asians), and Olivia Liang (Legacies) star in this new take on the '70s David Carradine-starrer, with Kim writing the pilot – stemming from Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Warner Bros. TV.

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CBS All Access

"I am very excited to join the fantastic team of Christina Kim, Martin Gero, Berlanti, and Warner Bros. to bring 'Kung Fu' to a new generation. An authentic and honest portrayal of a Chinese American family is rare in mainstream media so I am honored to be able to introduce the Shen family and shoot some thrilling action sequences as well. I think many people, myself included, can relate to our heroine's journey of self-discovery and finding her purpose."

– Hanelle Culpepper

"Kung Fu": "Star Trek: Picard" Director Hanelle Culpepper to Direct, Co-EP CW Pilot

Here's an updated look at the cast for The CW's Kung Fu pilot:

● Prasida's Ryan Chen is a quick-witted medical student who has to deal with the sudden return of his estranged older sister, Nicky.

● Dang's Althea Chen is Nicky's larger-than-life older sister who's newly engaged and on her way to planning her dream Chinese wedding.

● Liu's Henry Chu is a martial arts instructor and Chinese art history buff who has instant chemistry with Nicky.

● Ma and Kheng play Nicky's parents: father, Jin Chen, and mother Mei-Li — a husband-and-wife restaurateurs whose secrets threaten to destroy their lives just as they deal with the return of their estranged daughter.

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Inspired Ed Spielman's original series, the new Kung Fu finds a quarter-life crisis causing a young Chinese-American woman, Nicky Chen (Liang), to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China.

But when she returns to find her hometown overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice – all while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.

Kim and Gero are set to executive produce via Quinn's House Production Company, which produces in association with Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. Berlanti and Schechter executive produce for Berlanti Prods.


Variety (exclusive)

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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