Mel Gibson and Jet Li, who played adversaries in “Lethal Weapon 4,” are teaming to produce a martial-arts syndicated action series that is being set up at Alliance Atlantis.
The idea is to hatch an hourlong series that will be co-produced by Li and Gibson and his Icon Prods. label. It grew in part out of Li’s observance that many of the top directors of action films that helped make him an internationally famous martial-arts star weren’t working.
After conceiving an idea for a chopsocky TV series, Li took it to Gibson and Jim Lemley at Icon who liked the concept.
Gibson and Li had been looking for another project to do together. Both will provide a behind-the-scenes presence in steering the series, but neither has plans to appear on the show. However, Li, a five-time martial-arts champion in China, will be active in the fight choreography.
The company plans to shop the program at Mipcom and the National Assn. of Television Program Executives TV sales confabs in October and January, respectively.
ICM’s Steve Wohl and Steve Chasman put the series deal together on behalf of the duo; Gibson is repped by ICM’s Ed Limato.
The still-untitled project is likely to pique the interest of domestic syndie buyers, thanks to the marquee value of its producers, even as the demand for syndie actioners has dwindled in recent years.
There are still no details about the show’s premise, but the project promises to feature the same free-form shooting style of the classic Hong Kong chopsocky pics.
Alliance Atlantis execs could not be reached for comment late Tuesday, but it’s understood that the project has been in the works for some time.
Alliance Atlantis is producing two syndie actioners set to bow this fall: “Peter Benchley’s Amazon,” distributed by Eyemark Entertainment, and “Beastmaster: The Legend Continues,” distributed by Tribune Entertainment.