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Kung Fury, the short film by Swedish filmmaker David Sandberg, whose trailer became an internet hit following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign and a title track sung by David Hasselhoff, will be getting its world premiere at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight later this month.
But over in the Marche du Film, David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith’s KatzSmith Productions — the LA banner behind the upcoming Beetlejuice sequel — will be launching sales on a full-length version of the film, which will be going into production soon.
The original short, a purposefully kitsch and over-the-top 80s homage produced mostly using a green screen, sees Sandberg play the titular renegade cop, shooting criminals while on the roof of a flying Lamborghini and going back in time to defeat “the most evil Kung Fu master in the world,” one Adolf Hitler, mixing it with some uzi-shooting Nordic warriors and the odd dinosaur along the way,
The two-minute trailer – which has now been viewed almost 10 million times on YouTube — was used to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund the short, but hit the $200,000 goal within 24 hours and in the end raised $630,000.
“It’s going to be a clean slate, loosely based on the same story,” Sandberg says of the feature-length version, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter from Sweden. “But it’s going to have a lot of new elements, and you’ll get to know the characters more and go more in depth and go even more crazy.”
After heading over to Hollywood with the trailer last year and meeting numerous companies, Sandberg said he “just clicked” with KatzSmith.
“They had posters of Back to the Future and stuff like that and they just loved the project. They felt genuinely excited about it.”
Confirming this excitement, KatzSmith added: “Since the dawn of cinema, producers have dreamt of making a movie that combines Kung Fu, dinosaurs, uzis and Hitler. Every one of those producers has failed, until now. We’re honored to be working with David Sandberg, unquestionably the greatest director of the 1980s.”
Another recent boost for Kung Fury was the unveiling of Hasselhoff as the singer of the short’s title track, True Survivor, which saw the 80s icon fly to Stockholm to shoot the video. The track has now racked up almost 10 million YouTube views in under a month, and Sandberg claims there are plans to release it as a single, but not in the usual way.
“We’re going to release it on vinyl and maybe cassette too, to stay true to the 80s,” he says.
And perhaps this year’s golden ticket on the Croisette, Hasselhoff himself might even be dropping into the festival for a live rendition.
“He’s very booked up but we’re trying tyo figure out something,” says Sandberg. “He really wants to come and sing the song.”
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