Ang Lee to direct TV pilot by Israeli writer
Director moves over TV with "Tyrant" by Gidi Raff; Israeli network Keshet to help produce pilot.
Director Ang Lee poses with his Oscar for Best Director Photo: REUTERS/ Mike Blake
After winning the Best Director Academy Award last month for Life of Pi, double Oscar winner Ang Lee will move over to television when he directs a pilot for a show written by none other than Israeli Gidi Raff.
Riff, along with Howard Gordon - the team behind Emmy-winning psychological thriller "Homeland" - are the executive producers of the new show "Tyrant."
US cable channel FX said on Thursday that the Taiwanese filmmaker Lee will direct the pilot episode of the drama about an unassuming American family drawn into the affairs of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation.
It is Lee's first venture into directing for television and his first project since 2012's Life of Pi, the tale of a young Indian boy shipwrecked with a tiger that won four Oscars in February.
Production is due to start in the summer but no broadcast date or casting has been announced.
Israeli TV network Keshet, collaborators in the series, will take a part in producing the show. "We are happy and excited that a director as big as Ang Lee chose to lead the project," said Keshet CEO Avi Nir in a statement. "The credit goes to Gidi Riff for the idea and the writing and also to Howard Gordon for the leadership. Along with Graig Wright, we have a fantastic team and we are proud to be a part of the series."
"Ang Lee has demonstrated time and again an ability to present characters with such depth and specificity that they reveal the universal human condition," FX President John Landgraf said in a statement.
Lee, 58, is one of the more versatile directors in the industry, his work ranging from martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to British literary classic Sense and Sensibility and sci-fi action movie Hulk.
He won his first Oscar in 2006 for directing the gay cowboy drama Brokeback Mountain.
FX, and TV production company Fox 21, which is producing "Tyrant" along with FX Productions, are all units of News Corp.