Wong Kar-wai is heading to Amazon to make Tong Wars, a new series.
The hour-long drama is set during the titular Tong Wars in 1800s San Francisco. The sweeping series follows Chinese immigrants arriving in the city and the clashes between the organised crime families in the city’s Chinatown. Spanning a period of many years, the epic is written and executive produced by Paul Attanasio, with the In the Mood for Love (pictured above) director at the helm.
The project, announced by Amazon Studios’ Roy Price to Variety on Friday, marks the latest in a long line of major talent to sign with the online giant, from Matthew Weiner and Jill Soloway to Robert Kirkman.
It is also part of a wave of new commissions, with four other projects now put into development. Among them is a comedy from Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph. The Saturday Night Live veterans will exec-produce the series, which is written and created by Alan Yang (co-creator of Master of None) and Matt Hubbard. Dave Becky and Tim Sarkes will also executive produce, alongside Yang and Hubbard.
Two pilots have also been ordered from US comedy stalwarts, including Upload, a single camera half-hour series set in the future from The Office’s Greg Daniels, and Making Friends, a multi-camera comedy from How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are also expanding their Preacher-verse, with The Boys, an hour-long drama receiving a script order from Amazon. Based on Garth Ennis’ comic book, which is already in a second season adaptation at AMC (Amazon currently holds the exclusive rights in the UK), the separate drama is being written by Eric Kripke, with Rogen and Goldberg attached to direct.
The latter project is the first to hail from the unit formed by Sharon Tal Yguado, who joined Amazon from Fox International Channels earlier this year. Dedicated to event series, that and Wong Kar-wai’s series are indicative of the direction Amazon is now taking with its TV productions, as it looks to make bigger shows with bigger impact, along the lines of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Indeed, in the last week, two smaller series – Z: The Beginning of Everything and The Last Tycoon – have both been cancelled.