Coming off of his Academy Award win for Life of Pi, celebrated director Ang Lee will make his television directorial debut with FX, directing the Pilot episode for the highly anticipated drama Tyrant, from Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff (Homeland), and Emmy-nominated writer/producer Craig Wright (Six Feet Under, Lost). The announcement was made today by John Landgraf, President and General Manager, FX Networks.
Tyrant tells the story of an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation. The series was created by Raff and developed by Gordon and Wright. Raff wrote the pilot script, which comes from Teakwood Lane, the shingle Gordon has set up at 20th Century Fox Television. Tyrant is produced by Fox 21 and FX Productions.
Here's what FX president John Landgraf had to say in a statement.
"Ang Lee has demonstrated time and again an ability to present characters with such depth and specificity that they reveal the universal human condition. No one could be a more perfect film maker to bring Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, and Craig Wright's Tyrant to indelible life."
Gordon, Raff, and Wright are executive producers in association with Keshet Broadcasting. Lee is an Executive Producer. If Tyrant receives a series order, Wright will serve as showrunner.
Fox 21 president Bert Salke also released a statement regarding Ang Lee signing on.
"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 Tyrant is tentatively slated to begin this summer.
Ang Lee is one of the world's most revered and honored film directors. A three-time Academy Award winner, most recently winning for Best Director for Life of Pi, the international hit that has earned over 600 million dollars worldwide, Lee previously earned the Best Director honor for the groundbreaking Brokeback Mountain (2006). His won his first Oscar in 2001 for Best Foreign-Language Film winner, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Lee's films have twice won the prestigious Golden Lion Award for Best Picture at the Venice International Film Festival - in 2007 for Lust, Caution and in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain; and twice won the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlin International Film Festival - in 1993 for The Wedding Banquet and in 1996 for Sense and Sensibility. Lust, Caution swept Asia's Golden Horse Awards (Taiwan's equivalent of the Academy Awards), with eight wins, including Best Film; it is one of the highest-grossing and most critically acclaimed films in the history of Chinese-language cinema. Lee's other feature film work includes The Ice Storm, Ride with the Devil, Hulk starring Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly, Eat Drink Man Woman, and Taking Woodstock.