In another huge movie-to-cable shift, Ang Lee is set to follow up his “Life of Pi” Oscar with a drama pilot for FX.
FX announced on Thursday (March 14) that Lee will direct the pilot for “Tyrant,” a thriller from “Homeland” veterans Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, plus “Lost” scribe Craig Wright.
The story of an American family pulled into the political workings in a Middle Eastern nation, “Tyrant” was created by Raff and developed by Gordon and Wright. Raff wrote the pilot script and Wright will serve as showrunner if “Tyrant” goes to series. You got all that?
In addition to directing the pilot, Lee will executive produce along with Wright, Raff and Gordon for Fox 21 and FX Productions.
“Ang Lee has demonstrated time and again an ability to present characters with such depth and specificity that they reveal the universal human condition,” blurbs FX President and GM John Landgraf. “No one could be a more perfect film maker to bring Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, and Craig Wright’s ‘Tyrant’ to indelible life.”
Adds Fox 21 President Bert Salke, “The fact that the brilliant Ang Lee has signed on to direct his first project for television speaks to the extraordinary nature of ‘Tyrant.’ Ang Lee, Gideon Raff, Craig Wright and Howard Gordon are master storytellers at the height of their powers, and the material is incredible. We can’t wait to get started.”
Production on the “Tyrant” pilot is tentatively scheduled to begin this summer.
This will be Lee’s first work for American television. His “Life of Pi” Oscar was his third, following a directing win for “Brokeback Mountain” and a win for Foreign Language Film for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
Heading to cable soon after an Oscar directing win has become a badge of honor in recent years. Kathryn Bigelow immediately followed up her “Hurt Locker” win with an HBO pilot, while Martin Scorsese added an Emmy to his laurels when he directed the “Boardwalk Empire” pilot relatively soon after his “Departed” Oscar.