‘Gangs of London’ aims to deliver “unrivaled spectacle with characters to match.”

Gareth Evans’ last two films made him a cult movie icon. The Raid and The Raid 2, a pair of modestly budgeted action flicks, contain explosive set pieces that blow most of their Hollywood competition out of the water. The Raid movie’s fine quality comes at a cost: Evans has only released two films this decade. It’s great news then, that Evans is making the leap to TV where he’ll be creating a new “Gangland Drama” for HBO.

The new show, Gangs of London, is a collaboration with HBO’s Cinemax and Sky Atlantic. According to Deadline, Evans is producing the big-budget crime/drama along with Pulse Films, whose previous work includes American Honey and Kingdom of Us. Evans goal for the show is “to bring a ‘cinematic viewing experienceinto US and UK homes,” which is great news for genre movie lovers. Here’s how Deadline describes the show,

The drama, which will launch in 2019, is set in contemporary London as it is becoming torn apart by power struggles involving a number of international gangs. The series begins as the head of one criminal gang is assassinated and the power vacuum threatens the fragile peace between the other underworld organisations.

What’s most exciting to me is that HBO is launching Gangs of London on their subsidiary, Cinemax. HBO with its reputation for prestige TV is like a well-mannered politician whereas Cinemax, which embraces pulpy genre stories (packed with nudity and violence) is like HBO’s seedy club-promoter younger brother. Previous Cinemax programs include Steven Soderbergh’s 20-episode masterwork, The Knick, and Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler’s secretly amazing crime series, Banshee. My hippocampus is about to melt at the thought of a new Evans series joining Banshee, Quarry, and The Knick’s ranks.

Right now, the people who commissioned the show are saying all the right things. Sky’s Head of Drama, Anne Mensah, called Gangs of London, “Unrivalled spectacle with characters to match.” President of Miniseries at HBO and President of Programming at Cinemax, Kary Antholis, described the show as a “Fun, adrenalized and entertaining series that will be catnip for audiences.

Obviously, it’s the programming team’s job to sing the show’s praises, even if they’re just blowing smoke up our collective asses. But I’m not feeling cynical about what they’re saying. Based on the quality of the writer/director/editor/producer Gareth Evans’ work, there is no reason to doubt these claims. Evans’ last two films established him as an electrifying filmmaker who knows how to stretch a budget and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes with HBO and Sky Atlantic backing him. And with no solid release date for The Raid 3, I’m betting that Gangs of London will hit all the right beats to whet the appetites of the series’ rabid fans.

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