The CW rebooted the 1970s classic series Kung Fu and it’s epic because it is justice for Bruce Lee. If Bruce Lee is still alive, it will make him glad. Hollywood has been guilty of Asian erasure and white washing for a long time. Back it the 1970s Bruce Lee was suppose to star as Kwai, the main character of the show. Sadly, when the show got pitched to executives they rejected the idea of an Asian man being the lead. Back then, Powerful people in Hollywood believes Asians are not lead material.
David Carradine got the role instead. This made Bruce Lee give up on Hollywood and move his career to Hong Kong.Now Kung Fu is back to where it belongs.
This show was a hit that it spawned three seasons. To compensate for the injustice for Bruce Lee, In 1986 a movie sequel of this series was made starring Brandon Lee. Bruce Lee’s son portrayed Kwai’s son. In 1993 Kung Fu made a television comeback when Carradine reprised his role again in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.
For the 2021 Reboot, they gender swapped the main character. Kwai Chang Caine is now Nikki Chen, An Asian American Law student who is trying to find her sense of purpose and she finds it by learning Kung-Fu. Just like the original, she will try to avenge the death of her master.Most of the time people are divided when it comes to genderswap remakes but fans are more embracing of this one. It is a role Bruce Lee got deprived of is finally played by an Asian person. No more yellowface makeup and culture appropriation.
The lead actress Olivia Liang tweeted how getting this role meant for her as an Asian American. It is like a correction of a crime and justice is finally served.
in case anyone doesn’t know the history: the original kung fu was supposed to be led by bruce lee but those in charge didn’t think people would want to watch an asian-led show, so enter the YT man. we have come a long way and i’m proud we get to reclaim this. https://t.co/w3gXtgRu9y
— Olivia Liang 🦋 (@olivialiang_) March 8, 2021
Kung-Fu will debut at the CW at April 7, 2021.