Bruce Lee fans will know that Warrior has been a long time coming. The TV series the martial-arts icon pitched in the early Seventies is finally seeing the light thanks to Cinemax. Inspired by Lee’s notes for the original series pitch, Warrior follows a Chinese immigrant travelling through America in the late 19th century. The series premièred in the US on Cinemax on 5 April 2019 and has been receiving rave reviews but South African audiences were yet to find out when the smash hit would be airing on local screens. Luckily for Bruce Lee fans in the Republic, DStv has just announced it will be picking up the series to air on both M-Net and Showmax.
Executive produced by Justin Lin (director Fast & Furious) and Lee’s daughter, Shannon, 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 and becomes a hatchet man for one of Chinatown’s most powerful organised crime families.
Bruce’s notes (from his lists of potential story ideas and sketches, to his accounts of the history of San Francisco’s Chinatown) were invaluable to the creation of the Cinemax series. Lee’s original notes were modernised and brought to life by Tropper in a way that made sense for modern small screen storytelling.
Filmed in Cape Town, the show has been 48 years in the making. Based on writings of martial arts legend Bruce Lee and created by Jonathan Tropper (Banshee), Warrior features an all Asian cast and stays true to the vision of Bruce Lee and the Lee family, who were eager to see the show come to light in an authentic way.
Warrior premièred on M-Net and Showmax on Thursday 4 July at 22:00. South Africans will be able to catch the full series every Thursday night on their platform of choice. If you missed the first episode, don’t stress it’s available on Catchup for a few more weeks.
Watch the full trailer for Warrior here: