AMC Orders the Mixed Martial Arts Drama Badlands Straight to Series

By NatalieAbrams

Jul 12, 2014

AMC has given a straight-to-series order to martial arts drama Badlands, the network announced Friday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

Loosely based on the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West, Badlands is a "genre-bending" series about a great warrior and a young boy "who embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment."

The project has an order for six one-hour episodes and was created by Smallville's Al Gough and Miles Millar. They will executive-produce with Stacy Sher, Michael Shamberg, Daniel Wu, and Stephen Fung.

Badlands is expected to premiere in late 2015 or early 2016. The series joins The Walking Dead and the upcoming Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul as AMC’s only straight-to-series orders.


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  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 12, 2014

    It has been made in films and TV series countless times in Mandarin speaking countries. The stories involves Taoist and Buddhist theology and philosophy.

    I thought it sounded terrible on paper as I doubt it would be suitable to be made into an English version. They do have Hong Kong director Stephen Fung and actor Daniel Wu as producers so perhaps there is hope.

  • MichelleHood24 Jul 12, 2014

    Is there a trailer out for this yet I'm interested to see what it looks like. On paper it sounds ok I'm always in for some fighting.

  • kruppe Jul 12, 2014

    This is the same novel that the Dragonball Series drew 'inspiration' from right. Haven't read the novel but I assume we are not gonna see people with the ability to destroy planets.


    But seriously, how come there are no fighting dramas (that I know of). There's football dramas, gymnastic dramas and EVEN ballet dramas...kinda suprising when there's a large potential viewership.

  • MarlboroMagpi Jul 12, 2014

    Yes but Journey to the west is actually one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. It has been made in films and TV series countless times in Mandarin speaking countries. The stories involves Taoist and Buddhist theology and philosophy.

    I thought it sounded terrible on paper as I doubt it would be suitable to be made into an English version. They do have Hong Kong director Stephen Fung and actor Daniel Wu as producers so perhaps there is hope.

  • Vicky8675309 Jul 12, 2014

    by drama you mean "drama" right? not anime…
    I think Banshee is a drama with tons of fights (the real good fight choreography starts in S1E4) but it's more complicated then just a fighting drama. What is the gymnastic drama you are referring to (what is the name of that show)? Was the ballet drama Bunheads? I never saw it but heard it was good. By "football drama" do you mean Friday Night Lights? It didn't have that much football but I guess it is a football drama the way The League is a fantasy football comedy.
    I'm being serious with this question since I want to know what "fighting drama" means? Modern kung fu stories or dramas with a lot of excellent fight choreography...

    I'd love to see an adult oriented fight drama without all the supernatural or superhero stuff… Since this will be on cable, hopefully it won't pull any punches;-)

  • Eliseer Jul 12, 2014

    Banshee was my first thought too-- and I LOVE Banshee. To me, a "fighting drama" would have to be something with a lot of combat choreography and bloodshed, but without any elements of fantasy or magical realism, and without an emphasis on firearms and/or explosives... So yea, there's not much out there that fits the bill, huh? It's not exactly modern, but Spartacus on Starz was how I got my fix until it ended, and then I found Banshee.

  • FailFoxAway Jul 13, 2014

    Oh man Banshee is such shit. I watched the first season and was not impressed.

  • Eliseer Jul 14, 2014

    Crazy talk

  • Vicky8675309 Jul 12, 2014

    Spartacus was great!

  • jjlovet Jul 12, 2014

    also Saiyuki
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=965

  • FailFoxAway Jul 12, 2014

    You don't remember the Mortal Kombat tv series or Kung Fu with David Carradine?

  • AwaiSSiawa Jul 12, 2014

    Mortal Kombat Legacy is the one I assume you're talking about?
    Also from the same creators, the Street Fighter miniseries.
    Both are quality fighting shows.

  • darkitp Jul 12, 2014

    AMC should start to adapt more comics/novels like Y: The Last Man , The Dark Tower
    or Japanese anime/manga into live action series like Fuyumi Ono's The Twelve Kingdoms or Ghost Hunter

  • flintslady Jul 12, 2014

    I would have been all over Y: The Last Man... then I saw what Vaughan did with Under the Dome.

  • Sanity_Bleeds Jul 13, 2014

    He may not be made for TV, but that man has a fantastic library of comic book titles he's made and worked on, so I can't fault him too much if TV isn't his thing.

  • Sanity_Bleeds Jul 12, 2014

    If they didn't already have Hell on Wheels, I'd suggest something like Loveless, but since they do, I wonder if something like 100 Bullets would work on cable? That or DMZ would be lots of fun, but I almost see DMZ as a better fit somewhere like FX.

  • ShadowKreator Jul 12, 2014

    I've read that they are going to adapt Preacher.

  • flintslady Jul 12, 2014

    Preacher is coming. Let's hope it doesn't make it past the pilot. I'm still hurting from the Constantine (TV) trailer.

  • Sanity_Bleeds Jul 13, 2014

    I can't really say where or how, but the pilot episode is up online, and its hardly a failure. It does have more than a few areas it can improve upon though.

  • flintslady Jul 13, 2014

    I've seen it. I wasn't impressed at all. I'm glad they've decided to drop the girl in favour of Zed going forward, but the tone and visuals still don't match my vision of Hellblazer. Still I hope it does well, the more people it brings to the comic the better.

  • tnetennba Jul 12, 2014

    I still hope that it will fail at the pilot stage or even earlier. It doesn't make much sense to me that AMC is even considering it. It might be great on HBO, but AMC will ruin it.

  • Sanity_Bleeds Jul 12, 2014

    Preacher has been in development hell for nearly a decade. HBO was on board until they learned about the ending. Since then its been mostly just lazy movie rumors.

  • tnetennba Jul 12, 2014

    It's been reported that they're definitely going to make a pilot. I hope they're going to change their minds.

    I think HBO said that it's too dark and too violent. I haven't heard that the ending was the reason.

    After the success of Game of Thrones (HBO) and Spartacus (Starz), I don't think the "too dark, too violent" argument holds anymore.

  • jerky_666 Jul 13, 2014

    As far as I know, no one in Spartacus or Game of Thrones shoots the Christian god right in his stupid face.

    HBO doesn't have the sack to put that on the air.

  • Sanity_Bleeds Jul 12, 2014

    I've always been told the ending was way too extreme and would cause too much of a Christian backlash, but then, most of the entire story would cause Christian backlash, so I never really saw why the ending was more significant in that respect.