Tong Wars Drama Series WARRIOR, Based on the Writings of Martial Arts Legend Bruce Lee, Debuts April 5 on CINEMAX
The drama series WARRIOR begins its ten-episode season FRIDAY, APRIL 5 (10:00–11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on CINEMAX. Filmed in Cape Town, South Africa, the show is based on the writings of martial arts legend Bruce Lee and is created and executive produced by Jonathan Tropper (CINEMAX’s “Banshee”) under Tropper Ink Productions, executive produced by Justin Lin (director of “Fast & Furious 6”) for Perfect Storm Entertainment and executive produced by Shannon Lee for Bruce Lee Entertainment.
Starring Andrew Koji (“Fast & Furious 6”) as martial arts prodigy Ah Sahm, WARRIOR also features series regulars Kieran Bew (“The Street”), Olivia Cheng (“Marco Polo”), Dianne Doan (“Vikings”), Dean Jagger (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), Langley Kirkwood (“Invictus”), Hoon Lee (CINEMAX’s “Banshee”), Christian McKay (“Me and Orson Welles”), Joe Taslim (“Fast & Furious 6”), Jason Tobin (“The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift”), Joanna Vanderham (“The Paradise”), Tom Weston-Jones (“Copper”) and Perry Yung (CINEMAX’s “The Knick”).
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 (Andrew Koji), a martial arts prodigy who emigrates from China to San Francisco under mysterious circumstances. After proving his worth as a fighter, Ah Sahm becomes a hatchet man for the Hope Wei, one of Chinatown’s most powerful tongs (Chinese organized crime family).
Befriended by Wang Chao (Hoon Lee), a fixer and profiteer in Chinatown, Ah Sahm is taken under the wing of Young Jun (Jason Tobin), the hard-partying son of the Hop Wei’s leader, Father Jun (Perry Yung), who is facing an imminent opium war with a rival tong. As he is indoctrinated in the rules of Chinatown gangs, Ah Sahm wins the confidence of a canny brothel madam, Ah Toy (Olivia Cheng), revealing to her the true intentions of his journey to America.
Over the course of the season, Ah Sahm crosses boundaries inside and outside Chinatown, bringing him into contact with tong rivals Mai Ling (Dianne Doan), a beautiful and ruthless Chinese woman who has achieved a position of power in one of the tongs, and Li Yong (Joe Taslim), a tong lieutenant and Gung Fu master. As violence erupts, Sergeant “Big Bill” O’Hara (Kieran Bew) and Richard Henry Lee (Tom Weston-Jones), a transplanted southerner and rookie cop, are tasked with forming a Chinatown squad.
Meanwhile, working-class leader and tough Irishman Dylan Leary (Dean Jagger) is fighting for all Irish laborers by trying to inflict as much damage as possible on the Chinese immigrants he says are stealing their jobs. Amidst the strife, power-hungry San Francisco Mayor Samuel Blake (Christian McKay) and Deputy Mayor Walter Buckley (Langley Kirkwood), who has his own political aspirations, engage in widespread corruption, while the mayor’s young wife, Penny (Joanna Vanderham), finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage.
WARRIOR is produced for CINEMAX by Perfect Storm Entertainment, Tropper Ink Productions and Bruce Lee Entertainment; created and executive produced by Jonathan Tropper. Justin Lin and Danielle Woodrow executive produce on behalf of Perfect Storm Entertainment. Shannon Lee executive produces for Bruce Lee Entertainment. Executive produced by Brad Kane and co-executive produced by Richard Sharkey. The pilot was directed and executive produced by Assaf Bernstein.
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