‘The Judge’ Director David Dobkin Boards AMC’s Martial Arts Drama ‘Badlands’

By November 24, 2014

After delivering the lukewarm, melodramatic courtroom family drama “The Judge” this fall, director David Dobkin is continuing to venture away from comedy with a gig directing and executive producing a new series at AMC.

The cable networks just announced that Dobkin has boarded “Badlands,” a new martial arts drama that is very loosely based on the classic Chinese tale “Journey to the West.” The series has been given an order for six one-hour episodes to begin with, and will premiere either late in 2015 or sometime early in 2016.

Here’s the official series synopsis:

In a land controlled by feudal barons, the series tells the story of a great warrior and a young boy who embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment.

Emily Beechan - The Village

The series has also announced a trio of cast members with Emily Beecham (seen above in the British series “The Village”), Sarah Bolger (“The Tudors,” In America) and Oliver Stark (The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box). That’s not a very well-known cast, but one could say the same thing about “Mad Men” when it first started, and that turned out all right.

Dobkin is best known for directing comedies like Wedding Crashers, The Change-Up, Fred Claus and Mr. Woodcock, but has just started to step out of that genre with The Judge. Previously, Dobkin had messed with action and comedy with Shanghai Knights starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, but this sounds much more serious.

Funnily enough, the series was created by Al Gough & Miles Millar, who wrote Shanghai Noon, the first film in the aforementioned action comedy franchise. The two also worked on “Smallville” and will act as showrunners and executive producers on “Badlands,” along with producers Stacy Sher and Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction, Contagion), and master martial arts filmmakers Daniel Wu (Tai Chi Zero) and Stephen Fung.

Stay tuned for any important updates as development on the series continues.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.