Well, colour me shocked and surprised, folks. It would appear that contrary to my constant joking about it online, thoughts and prayers really do work because we’re actually getting a third season of Warrior. Variety broke the news of the plot-twist renewal last night and I am celebrating!
Warrior was developed by Jonathan Tropper (Banshee), Justin Lin (Fast & Furious franchise), and Shannon Lee from a treatment written by the latter’s legendary martial arts superstar father, Bruce Lee, before he died. Set in the 1870s, it follows Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji), a young Chinese man of few words but a whole lot of fighting skill, who travels to San Francisco to find his wayward sister, Mai Ling (Dianne Doann), only to get swept up in the complex and violent Tong Wars and racially fueled class conflicts that has engulfed the region. Running for two seasons on Cinemax, Warrior was a rare breed of show that managed to combine incredible action sequences with well-thought-out drama that actually had a lot to say as it paralleled modern issues of prejudice, equality, corruption, immigration, etc. Oh and it was also shot right here in Cape Town which is super nice (and allowed us to ask the main cast questions about gatsbies during a series of really cool interviews: Andrew Koji, Joe Taslim, Dean Jagger, Olivia Cheng).
Unfortunately, the Warner-owned Cinemax was essentially folded under as it stopped producing original productions leading to a quasi-cancellation of Warrior after its second season finale had just set up an intriguing new status quo for Ah Sahm and his Tong leader best friend Young Jun (Jason Tobin). Both existing seasons were then moved to HBO Max to help bolster the new streaming service’s lineup, which prompted the cast and crew to make public pleas for fans to watch it there and hopefully get a big enough viewership to convince the Warner execs to continue the story. And it seems that’s exactly what has happened.
In a statement, Lee said that “Justin, Jonathan, and I were thrilled when ‘Warrior’ was put on HBO platforms to be discovered by a whole new legion of fans.”
Now we are excited and grateful for the opportunity to do another season, and we applaud HBO Max for understanding the importance of telling this story and for continuing to support this level of representation in our industry. I just know that my father is grinning right now to see this show he dreamed of so long ago continuing to beat the odds. We have every intention of delivering the same high level of meaningful storytelling and Gung Fu action in season 3!
No word yet on just when we will be getting that third season, but just the fact that we are getting already means that 2021 isn’t all bad right now.
Last Updated: April 15, 2021