Paxton in talks to helm ‘Kung Fu’

'Swan' scribe McLaughlin to pen pic

“Big Love” star Bill Paxton is in negotiations to direct “Kung Fu,” Legendary Pictures’ feature adaptation of the popular David Carradine series that will be written by “Black Swan” scribe John McLaughlin.

Like the series, “Kung Fu” will follow the adventures of a Shaolin monk who travels through America armed only with his spiritual training and martial arts skills.

Vincent Newman (“Paradise Lost”) will produce via his Vincent Newman Entertainment banner. Legendary is also working closely with Ed Spielman, who is credited as the co-creator of the “Kung Fu” TV series, which ran from Oct. 1972 to April 1975 on ABC.

Warner Bros. is expected to distribute the film worldwide due to their long-standing relationship with Legendary Entertainment. Production is expected to start next summer and the pic will likely be filmed partly in China.

Paxton previously directed the 2001 thriller “Frailty” and Disney’s 2005 golf pic “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” which starred Shia LaBeouf. However, lnlike most actors-turned-directors, Paxton’s helming career isn’t a byproduct of his success in front of the camera. Even before his appearances in James Cameron’s “The Terminator” and “Aliens,” Paxton directed the 1980 animated short “Fish Heads,” in which he played the main character. While he’s been busy the last few years with HBO’s “Big Love,” Paxton recently directed another short film, “Tattoo,” which stars “Frailty” thesp Powers Boothe and veteran character actor James Hong.

In addition to co-writing “Black Swan,” which grossed $329 million worldwide, McLaughlin recently wrote the Jason Statham-starrer “Parker” for director Taylor Hackford. Scribe is repped by WME.

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