Chinese Box Office Smash Hit ‘Wolf Warriors’ Set To Become TV Show

The jingoistic action thriller that has taken China by storm is now heading for the small screen.

Official still of ‘Wolf Warriors 2’

Wolf Warriors II (战狼II) rode a wave of patriotic fervor to become the second film in history to reach $800 million in a single territory over the weekend, and now it’s heading for the small screen.

The 2006 military novel that inspired the Chinese box office hit will be adapted into a new TV series, the film’s executive producer Han Hao confirmed this week.

“A deal was made last year for the IP of the novel, so the show is a certainty,” Han said in an interview with the Yangtse Evening Post on Monday.

Dan Hen (弹痕), which translates as “Bullet Hole”, is a hit online novel by writer Dong Qun which he wrote under the pseudonym Fen Wu Yao Ji. Originally published on literature site Qidian Chinese, the novel has garnered a cult following since it was first published in 2006. Dong Fun later became the main scriptwriter for Wolf Warriors II, which is based on his work.

Wolf Warriors II, the second installment of the Wolf Warriors series, became the second film in history to reach US$800 million in box office in a single territory. It is the only non-English film to make it to the top 100 across the globe.

The film tells the story of a Chinese special forces operative who takes on missions around the world and finds himself in the midst of an African coup against vicious foreign mercenaries.

Han told the Yangtse Evening Post that the TV show will need to distinguish itself from similar shows that are already flooding the Chinese entertainment market. “It will need to be different,” he said.

Filming for the show is set to kick off next year, but casting is already under way. Wu Jing, the lead actor, and director of the Wolf Warriors movies will not take part in the TV series.

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The news comes as Wolf Warriors II has been crowned as China’s top grossing film in history, an achievement made within only two weeks of its debut on July 27. Second-tier Chinese cities have taken the lion’s share of the sales, according to online movie tickets platform Maoyan.

Despite the outsized success of the film, reaction to the announcement it is being turned into a TV show was met with skepticism and derision online.

Many Weibo users scorned what they saw as a cynical ‘churning out’ of derivative products to capitalize on the Wolf Warriors fever – something they think will be counterproductive. “Stop the hype, people are going to lose their interest,” said one Weibo user. “Nothing can guarantee its success, the smash hit success of Wolf Warriors II can’t be copied so easily,” said another.

Additional reporting Amber Ziye Wang