Actress Fan Bingbing depicted Empress Wu Zetian in an earlier movie.
By Ed Diokno
Two new television shows with Asian or Asian American casts are in various stages of production.
EMPRESS: New ‘Game of Thrones?’
Game of Thrones producer Christopher Newman isn’t waiting until that fantasy drama to end in a couple of years. He’s looking at the story of Wu Zetian, China’s only female empress.
Empress will tell the storied tale of the only female empress in the history of China — Wu Zetian, who ruled during the Tang dynasty (618-906 A.D.), a time of relative freedom for women. The proposed series will follow her ascent through the court of Emperor Tai Tsung; life as his favorite concubine — and ultimately her rise to power.
Newman has signed a deal with Starlight Media and K. Jam Media to develop and produce Empress, which has been commissioned as a 13-episode drama. Producers
The $70 million production is currently uncast and is set to begin in Sichuan, China, in late 2017 with a premiere eyed for 2018.
WARRIOR: Bruce Lee project
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’s daughter and Fast & Furious director Justin Lin who is executive producing the pilot with an eye to direct, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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.
The story is based on notes left behind by the late martial artist and discovered by his daughter Shannon Lee, who also acting as a co-producer.