Warrior on MAX has carved out a unique niche in the television landscape with its remarkable fusion of compelling storytelling and exceptional martial arts. The series, inspired by an original concept from the legendary Bruce Lee, vividly brings to life the vibrant, tumultuous world of 19th-century San Francisco’s Chinatown. But it’s the breathtakingly choreographed fight sequences that truly set Warrior apart. These aren’t mere displays of physical prowess; they’re integral to the narrative, each clash revealing more about the characters, their motivations, and their struggles.
Jonathan Tropper Details How He Weaves Story into the Action Sequences of Warrior
The series manages to tell a profound story through its action, transforming martial arts from mere spectacle to a form of narrative in its own right. Every punch thrown, every kick landed, every block dodged, carries with it a fragment of the character’s spirit, making Warrior a masterclass in storytelling through action. This is in large part thanks to the contribution of Jonathan Tropper. Tropper shares how he weaves story into the action in our exclusive interview.
“I write and I ask all the writers to write very detailed fight scenes with every punch and kick and every shift in the fight there. I you know, on my last show, I remember occasionally I get a writer who would like get up to the fight of a story and then write they fight and leave it to the fight coordinators to figure it out. But I think it’s really important to convey to the fight coordinators the story of the fight. And so the kicks and punches I write don’t generally like Brett will take those and he’ll say, OK, he’s not going to do that.
He’s not. He’ll change that all to do something much better, but he’ll know what I’m going for. Right. So what’s really important is that the fight coordinator understand the story points of the fight, which depending on where the fight’s happening in the flow of the season will have a certain goal for the characters involved. Right. Other than who wins and who loses. Right. So I’ll write it. The only way to write that is by writing it beat by beat.
My beats will generally not be as cool as the beats Brett will come up with. So he’ll he’ll change them all, but he’ll know what has to happen. And so that’s how I do it. And then because I am a martial artist and spent many years doing it, the geek in me likes to go through the previsuals with Brett and make certain suggestions. But ultimately, he and his guys, you know, they actually know how to do that much better than me. So I’ll always yield. I’ll always yield to them.
My only other contribution to the fight is I don’t like anything cute. I don’t think this show does cute fighting. I don’t like anything. No disrespect. But, you know, Jackie Chan is Jackie Chan. And this show has a much more brutal, visceral feel to its fight. So I don’t want flips and using refrigerators as weapons and, you know, you know, anything like that.
I just want it to be everything should feel like a street fight. You know, so I police that. But beyond that, it’s really Brett has a lot of free range because he’s already shown us that he knows how to make the fights on this show better than all of us.”-Jonathan Tropper, Co-Showrunner of ‘Warrior’–
Jonathan Tropper has a way with words and oftentimes doesn’t have to say a thing. The storytelling through the action and fight sequences in Warrior is beyond anything else on television from any memory and only continues to get better.
Warrior Season 3 airs new episodes every Thursday, exclusively on MAX.
About Warrior Season 3
Release date: June 29, 2023, exclusively on MAX
Creator: Jonathan Tropper
Showrunners: Evan Endicott & Josh Stoddard
Executive Producers: Evan Endicott, Josh Stoddard, Jonathan Tropper, Justin Lin, Danielle Woodrow, Andrew Schneider, Shannon Lee, Brad Kane, Richard Sharkey
Co-Executive Producers: Lillian Yu, Francisca X Hu
Production: Perfect Storm Entertainment, Tropper Ink Productions, Bruce Lee Entertainment
Cast: Andrew Koji, Olivia Cheng, Jason Tobin, Dianne Doan, Kieran Bew, Dean Jagger, Tom Weston-Jones, Hoon Lee, Perry Yung, Langley Kirkwood, Miranda Raison, Chen Tang, Chelsea Muirhead, Mark Dacascos, Joe Taslim
In the wake of the race riots that upended Chinatown in season two, Mai Ling uses her government connections to consolidate power, while Ah Sahm and the Hop Wei must find new ways to survive.
Are you in awe of the action in Warrior? Have you realized how much story is told with every punch and kick? What’s been your favorite fight? Let us know your thoughts, theories, and reactions, on social media!