Every so often, Hollywood looks to the martial arts genre for inspiration. The films contain a certain energy — and box office muscle overseas — but it has proved difficult to reproduce in the states. There are rare exceptions and those success ultimately lead to another attempt at the genre in the US. But few ever choose to remake a kung fu picture directly.
But it seems Rush Hour director Brett Ratner will attempt a remake of the Shaw Brothers classic King Boxer, also known as The Five Fingers of Death.
According to The Tracking Board, Ratner will direct the film and produce with company partner James Packer through their RatPac Entertainment. Celestial Pictures, owners of King Boxer and the entire Shaw Brothers catalog, will also be involved in the new production.
It is currently unclear how closely the remake will follow the original film, directed by Chang Ho Cheng, and its tale of a martial arts student sent to train with a superior master after his current teacher is beaten by a group of toughs. In proving himself, the student learns the secret of the Iron Fist.
The original film is credited with jump-starting the first US kung fu film craze of the 1970s. Its use of a small portions of the Ironside theme was appropriated by Quentin Tarantino in his martial arts epic, Kill Bill.