Was the Kung Fu TV Show Stolen From a Bruce Lee Idea
2024/02/02

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Bruce Lee did not come up with the idea for the TV series "Kung Fu". The hit show, which debuted in 1972, followed the journey of a former Shaolin monk searching for his half brother in the Western United States during the 19th century. There is a persistent legend that the concept for the series was stolen from Bruce Lee. However, this is not true. Bruce Lee did pitch a TV series called "The Warrior" about a martial artist in the Old West, but it was rejected. Following this, Warner Bros. released "Kung Fu" starring David Carradine, who played a half-Chinese monk. Some speculated that Lee's idea was stolen, but this is not the case. The source of this rumor is Bruce Lee's widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, who stated in her biography that the studio contacted Lee and he gave them numerous ideas for the show, some of which were used in "Kung Fu". However, the true story is that Ed Spielman and Howard Friedlander, two comedy writers, had been working on a screenplay about a Shaolin monk. They eventually showed it to a William Morris agent who passed it on to Warner Bros. executive Fred Weintraub. Weintraub loved the idea and paid Spielman and Friedlander to write a screenplay. Bruce Lee was later offered a development deal with Warner Bros. and one of the TV concepts he was working on was a Western. However, this project did not move forward. Therefore, the legend that Bruce Lee's idea for a TV series was stolen is false.

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