EXCLUSIVE: Cinemax has given a pilot order to Warrior, a crime drama based on original material written by Bruce Lee. Warrior has been a passion project for both the late martial arts icon and Fast & Furious helmer Justin Lin who is executive producing the pilot with an eye to direct. The pilot was written by Jonathan Tropper, co-creator of Banshee, Cinemax’s first homegrown primetime drama hit.

Set against the backdrop of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the aftermath of the Civil War, Warrior tells the story of a young martial arts prodigy, newly arrived from China, who finds himself caught up in the bloody Chinatown Tong wars.

In 2013, Lin’s company partnered with Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, and Bruce Lee Enterprises to turn Lee’s material into a TV series.
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Bruce Lee had spent many years working on Warrior, but it was never published or produced. Years after the Enter The Dragon actor’s sudden 1973 death at age 32, his daughter found a large collection of handwritten notes that Bruce wrote himself on the concept for the series that became the inspiration for the show. Perfect Storm Entertainment and Shannon Lee brought the idea to Cinemax in spring 2015, with Tropper coming on board as writer/executive producer.

Also executive producing are Perfect Storm’s Lin, president Troy Craig Poon and head of TV Danielle Woodrow as well as Shannon Lee of Bruce Lee Enterprises. The pilot is being produced for Cinemax by Perfect Storm Entertainment, Tropper Ink and Bruce Lee Entertainment.

In addition to his legacy as a martial arts and action star, Lee had strong writing interests and penned philosophy pieces as well as poetry.

CinemaxLin is already in business with Cinemax sibling HBO, directing the first two episodes of True Detective‘s second season. In TV, he also directed the pilot and serves as executive producer on the breakout CBS drama Scorpion. On the feature side, in addition to helming the blockbuster Fast & Furious franchise, Lin also recently directed Star Trek Beyond. He is repped by CAA, manager Dana O’Keefe of Cinetic Media and attorney John Sloss.