Hulu has given a straight-to-series order to Wu-Tang: An American Saga. The upcoming drama series created and written by Alex Tse (SuperFly) and Wu-Tang Clan front man The RZA, has received a 10-episode order from Hulu and will be executive produced by Imagine’s Brian Grazer (Empire, Genius) and Francie Calfo (Empire, Genius), Wu-Tang Clan’s The RZA and Method Man, and Tse. Imagine Television creative executive James Seidman will oversee the project for Imagine.
Based on one of the most influential and important groups in hip-hop history, the series marks the latest high-profile original series order from Hulu that aims to deliver authentic, culturally-relevant storytelling to today’s audiences. The series will explore and expand the world of the Wu-Tang clan, and marks Hulu’s second project with Brian Grazer’s Imagine following the Emmy and Grammy Award winning documentary, The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years.
Wu-Tang: An American Saga is inspired by “The Wu-Tang Manual” and “Tao of Wu”, and based on the true story of the Wu-Tang Clan. Set in early ’90s New York at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic, the show tracks the Clan’s formation, a vision of Bobby Diggs aka The RZA, who strives to unite a dozen young, black men that are torn between music and crime but eventually rise to become the unlikeliest of American success stories.
The Wu-Tang Clan has released five gold and platinum albums, selling 40 million albums worldwide. The group is often hailed as one of the most influential groups in the history of hip-hop with a unique sound and distinct image.
“I’ve been a fan of Wu-Tang since the mid-90’s and recognized quickly how significant Wu-Tang and The RZA were to the world of hip-hop music and culture. Over the years I’ve gotten to know RZA and it’s clear that he is the soul and storyteller of Wu-Tang. Working with RZA and Alex Tse on this series has been a highlight of my career and Hulu is the perfect partner to bring this story to a global audience,” said Grazer.
“The Wu Tang clan has made an immeasurable contribution to music and our popular culture” said Craig Erwich, Hulu’s SVP of Originals. “Their unique musical form and authentic storytelling continues to speak to our times. This series is a conversation worthy event that will bring their history and music to life in a way that hasn’t been seen before.”
“It is fitting that WuTang: An American Saga is our first series to launch this new chapter as an independent production company/studio as it embodies all of the elements we look for in a story: ambition, vision, imagination, community and the power of music to transcend our lives,” said Calfo.
“I’m delighted to be partnering with Hulu and Imagine to explore the vast story of the Wuniverse. Wu-Tang through our music has always strove to inspire as we entertain. This opportunity to continue the Wu – Saga in a 10-episode series will exponentially increase our inspirational style of entertainment. In the immortal words of ODB “Wu-Tang is for the Children,” said The RZA.
“Imagine, Hulu and Wu-Tang – I’m thrilled with this collaboration. This is a major win for hip hop” said Method Man.
“Ever since I heard “Da Mystery of Chessboxing” on the B-side maxi-cassette single of “C.R.E.A.M.” I’ve been a lifelong Wu fan. I’ll be celebrating this by buying a pair of Clarks Wallabys,” said Tse.
Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killa, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa and GZA as well as the Estate of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, will serve as consulting producers on the project.
“Ayo u know what it is, Wu-Tang is forever. We’re stepping into new chambers with Hulu and bringing our fans with us,” said Ghostface Killa.
“I look forward to collaborating with Hulu and Imagine for the production and filming of The Wu-Tang Series. This has been a long time request from fans and supporters for many years and it is long overdue. We now get to grant their wishes,” said GZA.
Wu-Tang: An American Saga will join Hulu’s award-winning originals slate alongside Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning The Handmaid’s Tale, Emmy Award-nominated The Looming Tower, The First, Castle Rock, Little Fires Everywhere, Ramy, Shrill and Catch-22. It will also premiere on Hulu alongside a full offering of popular acquired hits such as Empire, Power and Atlanta.
Imagine has a history of creating timeless and culturally impactful films, shows and documentaries in the world of music, including the Academy Award winning film 8 Mile, the Grammy Award winning documentary The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years, and Emmy winning television drama Empire. The company also produced the film Get On Up about James Brown, and many documentaries including Jay Z’s Made in America, Katy Perry: Part of Me, and the upcoming Pavarotti, which is currently in production.
About Imagine Television:
Imagine Television was founded in 1986 by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard and is run by Imagine Television Group Chairman, Francie Calfo. The company’s productions have been honored with 195 Emmy Nominations and 30 Golden Globe nominations. Current programming includes Fox’s award-winning series “Empire,” Netflix’s “Arrested Development,” and NatGeo’s “Genius,” “Mars” and “Breakthrough” series. Earlier productions include Fox’s Golden Globe and Emmy® award winning Best Drama Series “24”; NBC’s Peabody Award winning series “Friday Night Lights”; Fox’s Emmy® award winning Best Comedy “Arrested Development”; Fox’s “Shots Fired”; Fox’s “Lie To Me”; CBS’s “Shark”; NBC’s “Miss Match”; WB’s “Felicity”; ABC’s “SportsNight”; and HBO’s “From the Earth to the Moon”, which won the Emmy® for Outstanding Mini-Series. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer began their collaboration in 1985 with the hit film comedies “Night Shift” and “Splash”, and continue to run Imagine as Executive Chairmen.
Hulu is a leading premium streaming service that offers instant access to live and on demand channels, original series and films, and a premium library of TV and movies to more than 20 million subscribers in the U.S. Since its launch in 2008, Hulu has consistently been at the forefront of entertainment and technology. Hulu is the only streaming service that offers both ad-supported and commercial-free current season shows from the largest U.S. broadcast networks; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed Hulu Originals including Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning drama The Handmaid’s Tale, Emmy®-nominated series I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman, Emmy®-nominated series The Looming Tower, Future Man, Marvel’s Runaways, Castle Rock, The First and Golden Globe-nominated comedy Casual, as well as upcoming series Catch-22, Ramy and Little Fires Everywhere. In 2017, Hulu added live news, entertainment and sports from 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, The CW, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Scripps Networks Interactive to its offerings – making it the only TV service that brings together live, on-demand, originals, and library content all in one place, across living room and mobile devices.