Ang Lee Tackles Tyrant

And he may take over Gods & Kings

Life Of Pi Oscar winner Ang Lee’s policy has always been to choose projects that allow him to do something different. He’s taking his talent to the small screen this time, locking in a deal to direct the pilot for Tyrant, a new concept from two of the team behind Homeland.

Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, two of the top producers on the Claire Danes/Damian Lewis CIA drama, are working on the pilot for the FX network. The plot finds them in familiar territory, with an unassuming American family caught in the workings of a turbulent Middle East nation. Raff, who also created Prisoners Of War, the Israeli series that inspired the US version, wrote the episode and will produce with Gordon, Six Feet Under’s Craig Wright and Buffy/Lost’s David Fury, who actually broke the news of Lee’s involvement over Twitter.

News I can no longer contain: the director for the pilot of TYRANT, my current gig, will be none other than... ANG LEE!!\#youheardme

— David Fury (@TheDavidFury) March 14, 2013

“Ang Lee has demonstrated time and again an ability to present characters with such depth and specificity that they reveal the universal human condition,” says FX chief John Landgraf in a statement picked up by Variety. “No one could be a more perfect filmmaker to bring Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, and Craig Wright’s Tyrant to indelible life.”

Plus, while he’s never short of job offers, Lee is apparently now being courted to take over Gods And Kings, the Moses epic that has seen script work from Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. Steven Spielberg has been attached for a while, but has decided to let it go, and Warners wants a suitably talented filmmaker to take it on so the studio can beat Ridley Scott’s competing project Exodus at Fox, which could be the Prometheus director’s next film.

According to Deadline, Lee is interested, but hasn’t taken a formal meeting on it. Spielberg, meanwhile, when not handing out plum dino-assignments, is apparently still focused on developing Robopocalypse.