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Kung fu laffer kicks in

Liman, Caplan team on martial arts skein for NBC

“Mr. & Mrs. Smith” helmer Doug Liman is teaming with scribe Dave Caplan for a kung fu comedy set up at NBC.

Untitled half-hour revolves around a pair of brothers who find themselves taking care of their mom and her restaurant. In order to afford her dream retirement home, they’re forced to become bounty hunters — and they decide to use the martial art of kung fu rather than firearms to get the job done.

Caplan, exec producer of ABC’s “George Lopez,” is writing the pilot and will exec produce with Liman and David Bartis. Project is being developed by Liman and Bartis’ NBC Universal Television Studio-based Hypnotic shingle.

Idea for laffer originated with NBC U’s Gotham-based Katie O’Connell, who pitched the concept to Liman and Caplan.

Caplan said he immediately sparked to the concept when he heard from Hypnotic and NBC.

“I was a private investigator before becoming a comedy writer, and I’m currently training for my black sash in Wing Chun (Shaolin) kung fu, so it was tough to resist,” Caplan said. “Luckily for me, the list of ex-private eye, kung fu-trained comedy writers is pretty short.”

Both Caplan and Hypnotic are having busy development seasons, with multiple projects set up at various webs. Hypnotic recently landed a series pickup for “The Heist,” a serialized skein it’s producing with Sony for NBC (Daily Variety, Dec. 22).

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