AMC has been on a streak of original programming for nearly a decade now. With shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad being two of the most critically-acclaimed shows of all time, as well as The Walking Dead being one of the most popular – the network has been sitting pretty. However, Mad Men is about to end and the network hasn’t had as much luck with some of their other shows (aside from the previously mentioned hits like The Walking Dead or Better Call Saul – the Breaking Bad spin-off currently in its freshman season), and it appears the network is looking to expand their roster into even more out-there and interesting territories throughout this year.
One of the more-interesting sounding new properties coming to the network is a new show called Into the Badlands. The series is said to be a, “genre-bending martial arts series,” and comes from Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar. Not much is known about the series up until this point except for the cast and the few plot details AMC has revealed so far.
However, during last night’s season 5 finale of The Walking Dead (along with promoting the upcoming Dead spin-off series, Fear the Walking Dead) the network finally revealed a first look (see above) at Into the Badlands. While the trailer is short and doesn’t necessarily answer any questions audiences might have about the show – it does give a general sense of tone and provide hints at the show’s martial arts influences.
Into the Badlands takes place, “In a land controlled by fuedal barons, and tells the story of a ruthless, well-trained warrior named Sunny and a young boy who embark on a journey together across a dangerous land to find enlightenment.” It is based very loosely on the old Chinese Tale, “Journey to the West.” The series stars Daniel Wu (City of Glass), Emily Beecham (28 Weeks Later), Sarah Bolger (The Tudors) and Oliver Stark (My Hero).
It should be noted also that AMC has ordered six full-hour episodes for the show, and David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, The Judge) is currently slated to serve as the series director. Dobkin, Gough, and Millar will executive produce the series along with Oscar-nominated producers Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction, Contagion), and Stephen Fung and Wu (Tai Chi Zero).
Badlands definitely stands out amongst AMC’s other shows, or any other shows on TV right now for that matter. Not many series deal with martial arts or the Chinese culture, so this stands the chance of being a break out hit depending on whether or not the quality of the series is up to par. If so, Badlands could end up getting a full-season order or it could fail like some the network’s previous efforts (remember Low Winter Sun?).We’ll see what happens when Badlands makes its debut later this year.
Into the Badlands is set to premiere on AMC in Fall 2015.