S. Craig Zahler's dark western script 'The Brigands of Rattleborge' was awarded the top position on the Black List of the best unproduced screenplays available. Despite few credits to his name, FX is placing their bets on Zahler's untapped potential, placing his martial arts drama 'Downtown Dragons' in development as an original ongoing series.
Having assisted to develop series for both HBO and Starz, Zahler will produce and write the pilot for FX, set against the backdrop of contemporary Chinatown in New York City. The gangland crime of the Chinese triad bosses provides the action and intrigue for 'Downtown Dragons,' as the territory wars rage in modern and traditional forms of combat. The hook? After a vicious shootout and bloodletting amongst the various rival gangs, the triad bosses ban firearms; how ever will the criminals do battle without them? Cue the high-velocity martial arts battles.
The martial arts series will maintain a serious tone, blending just enough over-the-top action with a quasi-realistic gangland setting. It seems to have the makings of a hit and TVRage.com will update you on any casting information the moment it becomes available.
FX is aggressively expanding into the original series market, along with specialty channels like Starz. It would seem that the long reign of reality television is finally coming to an end, as studios are once again able to profit from traditional scripted storylines. I am personally elated to see FX expand, along with their rival networks, back into the wonderful world of fiction--and not only because I have a pipe-dream of writing for such a show one day.
Don't know if I could come up with such a great, exciting hook like Zahler has with 'Downtown Dragons,' though.... hmmm... what does that premise and title remind me of..?