With the premiere of AMC’s dystopian sci-fi actioner INTO THE BADLANDS this Sunday, Daniel Wu is coming home again.
Though born, raised, and educated in the United States, Daniel Wu has spent the last 18 years becoming one of the most recognizable and in-demand Chinese language actors of his generation. Wu’s leading man charisma, action star dexterity, and effortless versatility have fueled a remarkable career spanning over 60 movies of every genre, from gritty crime thrillers to lighthearted rom-coms. His accomplishments are made all the more impressive by the fact that he got his start less than 20 years ago, when approached at a Hong Kong bar to star in a commercial despite not knowing a word of Cantonese.
Watching him dismantle a band of postapocalyptically masacara’d marauders, however, it’s difficult to imagine a world where this man isn’t a star.
Set in the sort of future that imagines a reset button got hit at some point, INTO THE BADLANDS introduces us to a world defined by the pastiche technology called for by this premise. Guns have been replaced by swords, though cars still exist and our hero travels by motorcycle. This retro-futuristic landscape is ruled over by seven Barons who impose their power through control of key resources and formidable armies. Daniel Wu plays Sunny, a veteran Clipper – an elite warriors tasked with disposing special targets for the Barons. When Sunny begins to question the righteousness of his actions, however, he sets off on a quest for redemption, and for the truth behind the sort of cryptically prophesied “Chosen One” in which this genre trades.
Against this sprawling backdrop of stylish anachronism and lone-warrior journeying, INTO THE BADLANDS promises to weave together an exciting mythology through its condensed six episode first season. With Daniel Wu to ferry us around this strange land, we’re more than ready to strap our hands across his engine and see where the ride takes us.
You can read more about the show at the official AMC site, and tune in this Sunday at 10pm for the world premiere.