That Cinemax’s latest martial arts drama, Warrior, is already working the kinks out for its second season could be telling about what promise the first may hold. Bruce Lee fans and folks keen on this inspired period drama from Shannon Lee, Justin Lin (Fast franchise) and Jonathan Tropper (Banshee) will get just the insight they’re looking for when it premieres on April 5, as stated in the official teaser trailer above.
Inspired by an idea from martial-arts legend Bruce Lee, this gritty, action-packed crime drama is set during the brutal Tong Wars of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the second half of the 19th century. Filming in Cape Town, South Africa, it follows 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 organized crime families.
The new footage comes along with exclusive photos over at Entertainment Weekly which lend insight on the series, its history, development, and more. Lin divulged a little further on the effort of casting until it found the show’s lead in actor Andrew Koji who previously hit our radar a few years ago in a hard-hitting martial arts action drama short, Deep Pan Fury.
Making Warrior happen wasn’t easy; in fact, Lin admits, finding an Asian lead and rounding out the cast with Asian actors like Jason Tobin (Better Luck Tomorrow) and Olivia Cheng (Arrow) was “still very difficult.” “Casting directors, when they read ‘Asian-American,’ kind of go to the same pool,” he explains. “It was important to us to find a casting director that would really be open to us going around the world [for the search]. It took a while…I think there wasn’t any rocks left unturned, and I think that’s the right way [to do it].”
Koji is joined by Christian McKay as Samuel Blake, Dean Jagger as Dan Leary, Dianne Doan as Mai Ling, Banshee co-star as Hoon Lee as Wang Chao, Jason Tobin as Young Jun, Joanna Vanderham as Penelope Blake, The Night Comes For Us star Joe Taslim as Li Yong, Kieran Bew as “Big Bill” O’Hara, Langley Kirkwood as Walter Buckley, Olivia Cheng as Ah Toy, Perry Yung as Father Jun, Rich Ting and Tom Weston-Jones as Richard Lee among the show’s larger cast.
Mark your calendars and check your local listings, and visit EW for a look at the photos.