“Tyrant,” the FX drama from “Homeland” producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, managed a serious coup when it landed Ang Lee as the director of its pilot. The announcement was made in March, less than a month after Lee won the Oscar for Best Director for “Life of Pi,” and it was set to be Lee’s first television venture.
Alas, no longer. Deadline reports that Lee, who’s currently serving as a Cannes jury member, has pulled out of the high profile project, having done some location scouting for “Tyrant” but not yet begun with more work. He released the following statement:
It is with disappointment that I must confirm I have withdrawn from my commitment to direct the upcoming FX pilot Tyrant.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.
“Tyrant” is about an unassuming American family that gets drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation. Raff created “Tyrant” and wrote the pilot — Craig Wright (“Dirty Sexy Money”) will serve as the showrunner if it is ordered to series.