Shanghai Knights director David Dobkin is reuniting with the film’s writers Al Gough and Miles Millar for another martial arts project, AMC series Badlands (working title). Dobkin has been tapped as a director and executive producer of the straight-to-series project, which has cast Emily Beecham (28 Weeks Later), Sarah Bolger (The Tudors) and Oliver Stark (The Adventurer: The Curse Of The Midas Box) as regulars.
The six-episode Badlands is described as a genre-bending martial arts series very loosely based on the classic Chinese tale “Journey to the West.” In a land controlled by feudal barons, it tells the story of a great warrior and a young boy who embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment. Beecham plays The Widow, a regal beauty and a cunning strategist with extravagant, high fashion taste who has gained power the old-fashioned way – she’s spilled blood for it. Bolger plays Jade, a porcelain beauty who masks her ambition with fragile innocence. Stark plays the warrior’s son Ryer who has not lived up to his father’s expectations.
Badlands was created by Smallville alums Gough and Millar who serve as showrunners and executive produce alongside Dobkin, Stacy Sher and Michael Shamberg and leading martial arts filmmakers Daniel Wu and Stephen Fung. AMC Studios is producing; Entertainment One is distributing internationally.
“I am thrilled to be directing Badlands,” Dobkin said. “Aside from the amazing group of people I get to work with – everyone at AMC, plus Stacy and Michael, and Al and Miles for the second time – it’s a brilliant, visionary project that finally gives the fan-boy in me something to dig my teeth into.”
Dobkin’s latest movie, drama The Judge, is garnering awards buzz for co-star Robert Duvall. Beecham, repped by Seven Summits and UK’s United Agents, is seen in the Coen Brothers movie Hail Caesar.