Cinemax Picks up Bruce Lee-Inspired Martial Arts Crime Drama 'Warrior'

Jayne Chacko

Fans of Cinemax action series like Banshee and Strike Back will be glad to hear that the premium channel is continuing in the business of creating adrenaline-pumping shows. Not only is a revival of Strike Back on its way, but on Wednesday, Cinemax announced that it has picked up the straight-to-series crime drama Warrior, inspired by legendary martial artist and actor Bruce Lee’s never-produced idea for a TV show.

The series follows Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy who immigrates from China to San Francisco for unknown reasons. He becomes a hatchet man for one of Chinatown’s most powerful tongs (a Chinese organized crime family). The show takes place during the Tong Wars of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the second half of the 19th century.

The 10-episode first season of Warrior will begin production this fall in Cape Town, South Africa. The series is created and executive produced by Jonathan Tropper (creator of Cinemax’s Banshee) under Tropper Ink Productions. Justin Lin and Danielle Woodrow of Perfect Storm Entertainment, and Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon Lee, of Bruce Lee Entertainment, will also executive produce.

"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,” Tropper said in a release.

"I was intrigued when Danielle told me about the urban legend of [Bruce Lee's] never-produced idea for a TV show and suggested we bring it to life," added Lin. "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 [we] had to make it."

No word yet on an expected premiere date for Warrior.