Bruce Lee-Inspired Martial Arts Drama, WARRIOR, Gets A Straight-To-Series Order At Cinemax

Warner Bros. Pictures
President of HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming Kary Antholis believes Cinemax has a perfect platform for its strategy in producing mutliple "fun, high-octane, action, pulpy" series dramas at cost-effective rates as it has for several years now. One of those shows includes Strike Back which has a reboot presently in production, with another titled Banshee which sadly ended after four seasons last year.

At best though, it has proven more opportune for viewers and especially Banshee co-creator Jonathan Tropper who had already been long in development for a new Cinemax series with Justin Lin and Shannon Lee, daughter of the late film legend who since left a legacy of unfinished materials now being absorbed by Lee's own Bruce Lee Enterprises. Separately, this includes a feature film based on her father's life poised to shoot this summer, while her current efforts with Tropper and Lin for the new period drama, Warrior, are finally taking shape.

Trade news sites are now confirming Cinemax's ten-episode straight-to-series order for Warrior following its pilot order last August. Tropper wrote the script and is executive producing with Lee and Perfect Storm's Lin along with Danielle Woodrow for the show set in the aftermath of the Civil War when a young martial artist from China arrives in San Francisco, only to find himself swept into the bloody war between rival Tong factions in Chinatown.

per Deadline:
“Warrior follows in the spirit of the tradition of adrenalized Cinemax dramas that we established with Strike Back and Banshee,” said Antholis, listing the network’s two most successful original series to date. “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.” 
Warrior is described as 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). 
“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,” says Tropper.

Warrior is based on Lee's earlier writings which never saw the light of day after his death in 1973, until they were discovered by Shannon Lee prior to jumping aboard with Lin. Production is slated to commence in Cape Town, South Africa this Fall, marking the end of a long intial phase for the show from its inception by way of Bruce Lee's own personal notes into their current fruition.
“I’ve always admired Bruce Lee for his trailblazing efforts opening doors for Asians in entertainment and beyond,” Lin said. “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."


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