EXCLUSIVE: Rapper, actor, filmmaker and record producer RZA and screenwriter Alex Tse, who co-created and co-presented the Hulu series together Wu Tang: an American saga, have teamed up to form Xen Diagram Media, one of the industry’s first black and Asian creative-led production companies.
The company released its first project, Kid Punch, an hour-long drama written and produced by Graham Gordy (Career, a dollar, real detective), which was set up at AC Studios. RZA will provide direction and executive production, with Tse and Matt DeRoss for Anonymous Content. David Levine, Creative Director of Anonymous Content, will oversee AC Studios.
The company is also developing Ghost dog: the way of the samurai as an hour-long television series, based on the 1999 feature film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. The film starred Forest Whitaker as the main character, the mysterious “Ghost Dog”, a mafia hitman, who follows the old samurai code. RZA starred in the film as Samurai In Camouflage. The founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan also wrote the score and produced the soundtrack.
“As a huge hip-hop head growing up, Wu Tang resonated with me in particular, not only as an American of Chinese descent, but as a geek because the music referred to kung fu movies, comics, stuff that interested me, ” Tse said. “Wu combined geek and street culture and made it all cool, promoting accessibility that created one of the most diverse fan bases in the world. With Xen Diagram Media, RZA and I aim to do the same throughout history.
RZA added, “With the two of us coming from very different backgrounds – ethnically, economically, professionally – we believe we offer a unique, yet inclusive perspective, which we are delighted to share with the world.”
RZA and Tse collaborated on Hulu’s Wu-Tang: an American saga, which has just been picked up for season 3, serving as co-creators, co-writers and co-showrunners. Tse is a showrunner and writer best known for Watchmen and Superfly. RZA achievement credits include The man with the iron fists and Cut the throat of the city.
“RZA and Alex are brilliant creative minds, who have used their voices for decades to tell stories in unique and compelling ways,” said Levine. “We are delighted to partner with them and Graham on Impactful child and I look forward to working with the XDM team as they launch this exciting new venture that will no doubt continue to connect with audiences on such deep and deep levels.
Tse is replaced by CAA, Margaret Riley at Lighthouse Management & Media and lawyer Joe Dapello at Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams. RZA is replaced by CAA and lawyer Joe Carlone at King Holmes Paterno and Soriano.