FX’s coup of landing two-time Oscar winning director Ang Lee to direct the network’s drama pilot “Tyrant” has hit a major snag. Lee has informed executive producer Howard Gordon (“Homeland”) that he’s no longer able to participate in the project.
Deadline reports that Lee’s enthusiasm for “Tyrant” simply couldn’t combat the physical and mental exhaustion he feels after four and a half years of shepherding “Life of Pi” to the screen and through the Hollywood awards circuit. Lee is currently fulfilling his duties as a juror at the Cannes Film Festival but apparently isn’t ready to take on another directing project just yet.
“Tyrant” had been scheduled to begin production this summer and has been expected to earn a series order from the network. But first, FX will need to find another director.
Gideon Raff wrote the pilot’s script about an unassuming
American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern
nation. Gordon developed the series with Craig Wright (“Six Feet Under”), who would serve as showrunner if FX gives the project a series order.
Here is Lee’s official statement about his departure from “Tyrant”:
It is with disappointment that I must confirm I have withdrawn from my commitment to direct the upcoming FX pilot Tyrant.
It is one of the most brilliant ideas for a series that I’ve seen and one about which I was very excited.
However, after spending over four years making and promoting Life Of Pi, I have recently realized that I need some rest .
Because I cannot give 100% to this exciting project at this time, I
cannot allow myself to do anything that may affect the potential for
this exciting new series.
I wish FOX 21 and FX the best with this remarkable project.