Yes, grasshopper, it may be true: the movie adaptation of the 1970s Kung Fu television series appears to be moving forward. Christopher Campbell reported last November that Allen and Albert Hughes (Dead Presidents, From Hell) were slated to direct the movie. Production was to start some time this year in anticipation of a 2008 theatrical release to tie in with the Beijing Olympics. Cory Goodman was signed to do a rewrite of the original script by Howard Friedlander and Ed Spielman. Now ComingSoon.net is reporting that Max Makowski has been hired to direct.

Does that mean that Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures liked the rewrite, but the Hughes Brothers did not? Did the Hughes Brothers jump ship in favor of another gig? More than likely, the official answer would be "creative differences" or "scheduling conflicts." If the report is true, what will Max Makowski bring to the project? Born in Brazil, Makowski now lives in Hong Kong, according to an indieWIRE profile that ran when his crime film One Last Dance screened at Sundance in 2006. The plans are to film Kung Fu in China, so his background would be a plus. Makowski has also directed episodes of the TV spy show The Agency.

Bruce Lee came up with the original idea and wanted auditioned * to star as a Shaolin monk wandering the American West. Instead, David Carradine got the part of "Caine." Carradine was fine; the show itself never transcended the episodic formulas of its time, but was distinguished by solemn philosophical touches and a message that martial arts were not primarily about beating people up -- Caine always restrained himself. ComingSoon.net says a new casting call has gone out, looking for "a handsome mix of East (Chinese/Asian) meets West (American)," which is discouraging to read. Thirty years after Bruce Lee was denied, a Chinese actor is still not preferred for the part?

* UPDATED: Without specifically citing a source, commenter "pvitari" says that Ed Spielman came up with the original idea. (Perhaps this is supported by the DVD that "pvitari" mentions, which I don't have.) I should have indicated that my source was IMDB, which lists Lee as co-creator and cites Lee's widow as their source. Wikipedia has more information and two more sources. To avoid confusion -- and pending further investigation -- I've modified the article.-- PM.