The story of one of the greatest rap groups is coming to television. Hulu has given a straight-to-series order to Wu-Tang: An American Saga, a 10-episode drama from Wu-Tang Clan front man The RZA, writer Alex Tse (Superfly) and Imagine Television.
Created and written by The RZA and Tse, the series is based on the Wu-Tang Clan, one of the most influential groups in hip-hop history, and will explore and expand the band’s world.
Set in early ’90s New York at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic, the show tracks the Clan’s formation, a vision of Bobby Diggs aka The RZA, who strives to unite a dozen young, black men that are torn between music and crime but eventually rise to become the unlikeliest of American success stories.
Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo will executive produce with Tse and Wu-Tang Clan members The RZA and Method Man. Fellow Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killa, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa and GZA as well as the Estate of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, will serve as consulting producers. James Seidman will oversee the project for Imagine.
“I’ve been a fan of Wu-Tang since the mid-90’s and recognized quickly how significant Wu-Tang and The RZA were to the world of hip-hop music and culture. Over the years I’ve gotten to know RZA and it’s clear that he is the soul and storyteller of Wu-Tang,” Grazer said. “Working with RZA and Alex Tse on this series has been a highlight of my career and Hulu is the perfect partner to bring this story to a global audience.”
Wu-Tang: An American Saga marks the first series order for Imagine since it became an independent production company/studio. It also marks Imagine’s second project at Hulu following another music-themed collaboration, the Emmy and Grammy Award winning documentary, The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years.
“The Wu Tang’s unique musical form and authentic storytelling continues to speak to our times,” said Craig Erwich, Hulu’s SVP of Originals. “This series is a conversation worthy event that will bring their history and music to life in a way that hasn’t been seen before.”
The Wu-Tang Clan, often hailed for its unique sound and distinct image, has released five gold and platinum albums, selling 40 million albums worldwide.
“I’m delighted to be partnering with Hulu and Imagine to explore the vast story of the Wuniverse,” said The RZA. “Wu-Tang through our music has always strove to inspire as we entertain. This opportunity to continue the Wu – Saga in a 10-episode series will exponentially increase our inspirational style of entertainment. In the immortal words of ODB “Wu-Tang is for the Children.”
For Tse, the project brings back childhood memories.
“Ever since I heard “Da Mystery of Chessboxing” on the B-side maxi-cassette single of “C.R.E.A.M.” I’ve been a lifelong Wu fan,” he said. “I’ll be celebrating this by buying a pair of Clarks Wallabys.”
Imagine’s series slate also include Empire on Fox and Genius and Mars on National Geographic.
Tse is repped by Lighthouse Management & Media, CAA and Schreck Rose Dapello.