The Successor marks the first international television series for the nascent production and finance firm, which is based in Beijing and Hong Kong.
Young Guns writer Fusco, who recently penned Netflix’s Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson film The Highwaymen, has written the drama, which explores the secretive and deadly business of worldwide crime syndicates.
Seen through the eyes of a young protagonist, the story follows his journey into the underworld after his kingpin father is murdered in a gangland shootout. Starting as a complete outsider, the successor must decide whether to turn away and disown his father, or to pursue the killers and claim his place in the brutal and unforgiving world of the Triads.
Fusco will also executive produce with Extraordinary Entertainment’s Harlin and Parmar. The series is co-executive produced by Colin Vaines.
Die Hard II and Cliffhanger director Harlin and Kung Fu Yoga exec producer Parmar set up Extraordinary Entertainment last year with an initial focus on features including titles such as Solara, a Mandarin-language sci-fi adventure and action feature Operation Wild. The Successor is their first TV series.
The business, which has Parmar as CEO and Harlin as Chief Creative Officer, is developing international co-productions, as well as local-language Chinese productions and is backed by funding from strategic investors targeting the Chinese market. Harlin recently directed Skiptrace, starring Jackie Chan, which grossed over $137M in China. Parmar was previously Vice President of International at Shinework Pictures and was an executive producer on Kung Fu Yoga starring Chan, which grossed over $250M worldwide.
“I’ve been wanting to collaborate with Renny since his breakout days as one of the most dynamic action directors in our business. It’s fitting that our shared appreciation for China and big, action-driven stories that work on an international level have finally brought us together as a team,” said Fusco. “The Successor not only gives us the opportunity to explore the powerful and dangerous family hierarchy of the Triad crime syndicate, it gives us a story world that it is deep and rich in character drama. It’s the kind of realistic, hard-hitting series with the potential to run multiple seasons.”
“We are building a slate of leading global premium scripted series with an Asian focus and The Successor is the perfect project to lead the way,” said Parmar. “John Fusco is one of Hollywood’s foremost showrunners, whose gritty writing style masterfully captures this dark underworld. Together our team is primed to deliver a gripping crime saga that will appeal to global audiences.”
“My dream has always been to explore the meaning of honor, family and power, in the violent world of organized crime, like my favorite movies The Godfather and Scarface did,” added Harlin. “I’ve known and admired John Fusco for most of my career and finally we have found a story that gives us a chance to work together and share our passion for raw and visceral storytelling.”
Harlin and Parmar are represented by United Talent Agency, and attorneys Stephen L. Saltzman and Craig A. Emanuel of Paul Hastings. Fusco is represented by manager Cliff Roberts and attorney Mark Temple.