Cinemax has given a straight-to-series order for Warrior, a 19th century drama based on an idea from the late martial arts legend Bruce Lee.
President of HBO miniseries and Cinemax programming Kary Antholis made the announcement. The series is created by Jonathan Tropper, who also co-created Cinemax’s Banshee. Executive producing is Tropper through his Tropper Ink Productions, Fast & Furious 6 and Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin and Danielle Woodrow (Scorpion, S.W.A.T.) for Perfect Storm Entertainment, and Bruce’s daughter Shannon Lee for Bruce Lee Entertainment.
Here’s a brief description of Warrior:
WARRIOR is a gritty, action-packed crime drama set during the brutal Tong Wars of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the second half of the 19th century. The series follows Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy who immigrates from China to San Francisco under mysterious circumstances, and becomes a hatchet man for one of Chinatown’s most powerful tongs (Chinese organized crime family).
Of the announcement, Antholis said:
“WARRIOR follows in the spirit of the tradition of adrenalized CINEMAX dramas that we established with “˜Strike Back’ and “˜Banshee.’ We are brimming with excitement for this unique martial arts series combining Bruce Lee’s inspired conception with the immense storytelling talents of Jonathan Tropper and Justin Lin.”
“As a show that proudly bears the imprimatur of Bruce Lee, it’s our intention to deliver not only explosive martial arts action – which we will – but also a powerful and complex immigration drama that is as relevant today as it was in the 1870s.”
Finally, Lin said:
“I’ve always admired Bruce Lee for his trailblazing efforts opening doors for Asians in entertainment and beyond. So I was intrigued when Danielle told me about the urban legend of his never-produced idea for a TV show and suggested we bring it to life. Then, when Shannon shared with us her father’s writings – rich with Lee’s unique philosophies on life, and through a point of view rarely depicted on screen – Danielle and I knew that Perfect Storm had to make it.
Partnering with CINEMAX has led to a wonderful collaboration with Jonathan Tropper, who has created a fantastic series inspired by Lee’s writings. We are all honored to continue what he started.”
Warrior will kick things off with a 10-episode first season. Production will begin this fall in Cape Town, South Africa.