Director to lense bigscreen adaptation

“Kung Fu” has a new master.

Max Makowski (“One Last Dance”) is stepping in to helm Legendary Pictures’ bigscreen adaptation of the 1970s TV skein now that director siblings Albert and Allen Hughes are busy with “The Book of Eli” for Warner Bros.

Project is out to writers in order to get the script ready to go before a possible strike, and it will likely land at Warners under Legendary’s deal there.

The Hong Kong-based Makowski intends to give the project an edgier take than the ABC series, which revolved around a Shaolin monk (David Carradine) forced to flee to the Wild West, where he used his martial arts skills to fend off various evildoers. It will be shot in China.

Cory Goodman recently rewrote a script by two vets of the skein: scribe Howard Friedlander and creator Ed Spielman.

Legendary’s Thomas Tull, Scott Mednick and Jon Jashni are producing; Spielman exec produces.

The Hughes brothers became attached to “Kung Fu” late last year but are now focused on prepping “The Book of Eli” to go into production before a possible strike. It will be their first feature since 2001 Johnny Depp starrer “From Hell” (Daily Variety, May 21).

Makowski is writing and directing Universal’s remake of the Japanese film “Shinobi.” He is also developing an untitled action drama for Lorenzo di Bonaventura at Paramount (Daily Variety, Aug. 22, 2006).

Makowski and his company, Film Orient, are repped by UTA and Management 360.

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