American Movie Classics which produced hit TV series like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, has announced a new martial arts drama, Badlands, which is loosely based on one of the four classics of Chinese literature 'Journey to the West.'
AMC has ordered six one-hour episodes of Badlands that will premiere in late 2015 or early 2016, the network said as part of its Television Critics Association sessions, reported Variety.
Badlands is the story of a great warrior and a young boy who team up to journey across a dangerous land in search of enlightenment.
The show is created by Al Gough and Miles Millar who worked on Smallville. Daniel Wu and Stephen Fung will co-produce the show along with Michael Shamberg, who worked on Django Unchained.
AMC's executive vice president for Original Programming, Joel Stillerman, said: "This creative team has so much expertise in bringing a fresh take to classic genres from their film and television experience, and their take on martial arts will be no exception."
"We are incredibly excited to help Al and Miles, as well as Stacey and Michael from Double Feature to bring Badlands to life," said Stillerman.
In spite of the high-class production team assembled by AMC, Badlands has stirred a controversy among Chinese netizens. Some are worried that the adapted show will do a dis-service to the classic Chinese work.
According to a report in the Beijing Youth Daily, Chinese netizens are afraid the adaptation will spoil the classic and ruin their cherished childhood memories. But others are optimistic that the American TV series will capture global audiences with the quality of their production, their diverse themes, and their unswerving quest for art, and that they will do full justice to their tale.
However, American TV broadcasters place the highest value on their audience share. Once a drama begins to lose its audience appeal, it will be dropped without hesitation, reported People's Daily Online.
Jessica Beinecke, the founder of Crazy Fresh Chinese, a Chinese/English online-based cross-cultural platform, said AMC's Badlands could provide "a great gateway" to understanding Chinese culture for millions of Americans, reported China daily.
"Any opportunity for people to experience Chinese culture from their living room is a great idea,"
Beinecke said, "I have very high hopes for a series like this because Journey to the West can get a whole lot more people interested in Chinese culture, and I'm sure millions of Americans are now going to have that opportunity."