Netflix is expanding its programming slate once again, ordering Wu Assassins, a new martial arts drama starring Iko Uwais. The series will be a blend of several genres, involving a combination of martial arts, science fiction, crime thriller, and drama.
Wu Assassins will follow Uwais as the character Kai Jin, a Wu Assassin in San Francisco’s Chinatown that is tasked with hunting down an old organized crime outfit to find justice and balance in the city. Joining Uwais as a co-star is Byron Mann, known for his roles in Hell on Wheels, The Big Short, and The Expanse.
The series order for Wu Assassins was announced on Friday via Deadline. Tony Krantz, John Wirth, and Nomadic Pictures have all joined forces to produce the series, whose first season will be comprised of 10 episodes. Stephen Fung, known for his Hong Kong martial arts films such as the House of Fury and The Adventures, will direct the first two episodes of Wu Assassins. Producer Wirth will serve as both the writer and showrunner of the series as well. Wu Assassins is expected to begin production this summer on August 8.
While Uwais may be most recognizable to American audiences through his role as the Kanjiklub lieutenant Razoo Qin-Fee in The Force Awakens, the Indonesian actor is best known internationally for his work in the The Raid franchise as protagonist Rama. Yet Uwais is not only an actor. He is also known for his work as a fight choreographer, having choreographed the fight sequences in both Raid films (which are consistently praised for their battle choreography), and the upcoming Mark Wahlberg film Mile 22.
In May, Netflix officially became the most valuable media company in the entire world, surpassing Disney in the stock market. As such, they've been able to attract a wealth of creative talent to create more and more original programming as a result, including Barack and Michelle Obama. That deal comes as Netflix works on emphasizing the diversity of its programming slate, taking on more and more ambitious, convention-breaking projects such as the timely sitcom One Day at a Time or brash political comedy Dear White People. Centered as it is on Indonesian lead Uwais, Wu Assassins could end up being yet another example of how Netflix is challenging the status quo, and growing its original programming sector beyond Hollywood norms.