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Cinemax Orders Bruce Lee-Inspired Drama ‘Warrior’

Variety logo Variety 6/7/2017 Daniel Holloway
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Cinemax has given a 10-episode straight to series order to “Warrior,” from creator Jonathan Tropper and fellow executive producers Justin Lin and Danielle Woodrow. The drama is inspired by an idea from the late martial-arts star Bruce Lee.

“Warrior” is an action series set against the backdrop of the Tong Wars of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the second half of the 19th century. It tells the story of Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy who immigrates from China to San Francisco and becomes a hatchet man for one of Chinatown’s most powerful organized-crime families.

The series is set to begin production in Cape Town, South Africa.

“’Warrior’ follows in the spirit of the tradition of adrenalized Cinemax dramas that we established with ‘Strike Back’ and ‘Banshee’,” said Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming. “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 produced by Perfect Storm Entertainment, Tropper Ink Productions and Bruce Lee Entertainment. Executive producers are Tropper, Lin, Woodrow and Shannon Lee.

“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,” said Tropper.

“I’ve always admired Bruce Lee for his trailblazing efforts opening doors for Asians in entertainment and beyond,” said Lin. “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.”

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