If you’re looking for shows like Into the Badlands, then look no further than Netflix’s upcoming Wu Assassins.
When Into the Badlands was cancelled, it was a devastating blow to fans of AMC’s spectacular series. This show expertly blended martial arts with fantasy elements in a way that made for extremely entertaining TV.
This future world was grounded and believable, but it also had a touch of mysticism that kept you on your toes.
Into the Badlands season 4 was poised to change everything thanks to its shocking ending, but it seems unlikely we’ll ever get a chance to explore what comes next — unless the creators are able to stir up interest in a movie or graphic novel series.
Finding a show comparable to Badlands is difficult, if not impossible, but there is a contender in sight: Wu Assassins, which will be another Netflix Original. It’s due to hit our screens on August 8, 2019.
Netflix’s official description reads, “The last in a line of Chosen Ones, a wannabe chef teams up with a homicide detective to unravel an ancient mystery and take down supernatural assassins.”
If you’re looking for shows like Into the Badlands, then Wu Assassins sounds like a direct hit.
That wannabe chef is Kai Jin, played by Iko Uwais, who will find out he’s a Wu Assassin tasked with restoring balance to the world. Uwais’ role is similar to Daniel Wu’s on Into the Badlands. Wu began his venture with the show as an executive producer in charge of the action, but was eventually cast as Sunny, the series lead.
Uwais will not only be starring in Assassins, but he will be a producer as well as the lead martial arts and fight choreographer and stunt coordinator. This means he’ll be in charge of all the fight scenes on the show, meaning not only will we potentially be getting a great performance out of him, but some stellar action as well.
If you’re unfamiliar with Uwais, you’ll be happy to learn he is an Indonesian actor best known for Merantau (2009), The Raid (2011), The Raid 2 (2014), and Headshot (2016), and even made a brief appearance in The Force Awakens. The first two films are critically acclaimed, so it stands to reason that what we’ll get out of Wu Assassins is something to remember.
But its focus on martial arts isn’t the only reason why this show is like Into the Badlands. If you loved Lewis Tan as Gaius Chau, then you’ll be delighted to hear he has a main role on the Netflix series as well. He’ll be playing Lu Xin Lee, who’s described as “a suave, fierce, intelligent leader who owns and operates his own custom garage a la West Coast Customs and runs a car theft ring for the Triad.”
We obviously also saw Tan in Deadpool 2 as Shatterstar, albeit more briefly than his fans probably would’ve liked. Still, Tan’s talents are easy to see, and Badlands enthusiasts are bound to be excited about his new series. I’m not sure yet if his character is strictly a bad guy or if he’ll be operating in a gray area, but he sounds interesting, nonetheless.
Katheryn Winnick will be starring as Christine “C.G.” Gavin, who’s “an undercover cop caught in the middle of a gang war that’s breaking out in Chinatown.” She’ll be the one working closely with Kai in order to figure out what the hell is going on in Chinatown. And they won’t be the only ones digging deeper, as Tommy Flanagan will star as Alec McCullough, “an international crime boss with a mysterious interest in San Francisco’s Chinatown.”
Byron Mann will play Uncle Six, while Tzi Ma will portray Mr. Young, “a kindly Chinatown grocer and a mentor to Kai.” Celia Au will portray Ying Ying, “a quirky, but wise young woman who assists Kai Jin in his mission,” while Li Jun Li will be Jenny Wah, “a confident young businesswoman with an MBA.”
JuJu Chan will play Zan, “an elite martial artist and lieutenant in the Triads who is the bodyguard and sole confidant to Uncle Six.” (She’s seriously badass. Go check out her Twitter.) Plus, Firefly’s Summer Glau will be appearing as Miss Jones!
Additionally, the connections to Into the Badlands don’t stop there, as Stephen Fung will direct the first two episodes of Wu Assassins. Passionate Badlands fans will remember Fung was an executive producer, director, and action director for AMC’s series.
There’s a lot of shared blood between the two shows, as well as a shared genre. Into the Badlands has proven there’s interest in a kind of show that balances beautiful cinematography, detailed storytelling, and incredible stunts. Western audiences want this kind of content, and hopefully Wu Assassins is just the latest in a long line of series that are willing to deliver.
Luckily, we don’t have to wait too much longer to see what Wu Assassins will deliver, and if it’ll make the loss of Into the Badlands sting a little less. Here’s the official Wu Assassins trailer:
We get a good look at the major players in Wu Assassins, and it’s clear this is definitely is one to add to your list if you want another show like Into the Badlands. The plot seems pretty straightforward, but there’s certainly a complication when it comes to the fact that Kai has to go up against his own father!
Some of the digital effects leave something to be desired, but I’ve found that trailers often highlight poor CGI. It’ll (hopefully) look more rendered once we get into the meet of the show.
The real standout here is going to be the action, which already looks off the charts. Kai’s profession as a chef means we’re probably going to see some pretty cool knife-play, and there’s already a few trick shots in the trailer that has me excited to see what the directors are going to do to make the fight choreography stand out even more.