AMC’s ‘Into the Badlands’ Celebrates Martial Arts, Strong Female Characters

AMC’s newest show “Into the Badlands” held an intimate screening Tuesday at The London, West Hollywood, where creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar called it a passion project.

“Miles and I have always been huge fans of martial arts and martial arts movies and it’s something that’s not on television at the moment,” Gough said. “It was a passion project of ours.”

After working on shows like “Smallville,” where 22-episode seasons were the norm, the two said working on a six-episode season was refreshing and a newer challenge.

“With six episodes there is a different momentum and things really have to happen,” Millar said. “For us it was ‘how do you make the story interesting and develop the characters in that short amount of time?'”

Into the Badlands” follows Sunny, a ruthless warrior played by Daniel Wu, and M.K., played by Aramis Knight, as they travel across the dangerous badlands on a spiritual journey. Through their journey they’ll encounter many of the feudal barons that control the Badlands.

What drew many of the cast members to the series, aside from the fight scenes, was the amount of strong female characters that resided in the Badlands.

“My character is the Widow, one of the only female barons in the Badlands,” Emily Beecham said. “She has a group of young women that she calls her Butterflies and she trains them to become very skilled fighters and teaches them that women should have an equal voice to men and they need to fight for it.”

The Widow is far from the only strong female role in the show. Sarah Bolger describes her character as Lady MacBeth-esque with an innocence and underlying ambition.

“What’s great is the female characters rule in a way that is not hand-and-fist,” Bolger said. “They rule psychologically and through intelligence and it’s great to be able to do that. There’s a juxtaposition between the gruesome brutality and the mind-manipulating. Our war is one of intellect.”

(Pictured: Madeleine Mantock, Emily Beecham, Orla Brady, Ally Ioannides and Sarah Bolger at the “Into the Badlands” after-party)

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