“We are incredibly excited to help Al and Miles, as well as Stacey and Michael from Double Feature to bring Badlands to life,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s executive vice president of original programming, production and digital content. “This creative team has so much expertise in bringing a fresh take to classic genres from their film and television experience, and their take on martial arts will be no exception. Along with a beautiful story, they’ve also assembled the A-Team of martial arts fight choreography in Daniel Wu and Stephen Fung.”
Created by Al Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville) and loosely based on Chinese tale Journey to the West, Badlands follows a great warrior and his young protégé as they journey across a dangerous land controlled by feudal barons in search of enlightenment. Among the executive producers for the project, which has yet to begin casting, will be Daniel Wu (Tai Chi Zero) and Michael Shamberg (Contagion).
Badlands comes at a time when AMC is struggling to find its next breakout hit after The Walking Dead, which premiered in 2010. Since then, they’ve touched on dramas about crime (Low Winter Sun, The Killing), war (Turn), and technology (Halt and Catch Fire) to lukewarm results, so Badlands likely won’t have that high a fence to clear in order to secure a renewal. However, with Better Call Saul and a Walking Dead spin-off looming, the series might have more competition for scheduling space than initially expected.
The six-episode first season of Badlands is set to premiere in late 2015 or early 2016.
Will you be watching Badlands? Do you think the show will be able to find an audience on AMC? Are you surprised that it’s taken this long for a scripted martial arts drama to make it to American television?