The former Cinemax period drama "rose from the dead" for a Season 3 pickup on HBO Max thanks to its popularity after its addition to the WarnerMedia streaming service earlier this year and to the support of HBO Max chief content officer Casey Bloys, who had been concerned how Warrior would keep going. “The show has performed well, but part of the equation is qualitative as well. Warrior tells a story no one else is telling in a way no one else is doing,” Bloys tells Vanity Fair, noting that the revival is “fairly miraculous." He adds: “The cast and creative team were all willing to rearrange their schedules to make this happen somehow.” Before Wednesday's pickup, the cast and crew had been pessimistic about Warrior's chances for renewal. “I think most of us had lost hope and had begun to move on,” said series lead Andrew Koji. “It’s just rare that something like this happens in this business.” However, executive producer Shannon Lee, whose iconic late father Bruce Lee wrote the original treatment for Warrior, was a bit more optimistic because “I had colleagues in the industry reaching out, saying to me, ‘Do you need money to fund this?’ There was a lot of ardent passion for wanting the show to move forward. Not just from individuals within the industry, but also fans who had petitions going.”
Warrior executive producer Jonathan Tropper on the logistics of returning after a long hiatus: "The backlot we built is still intact, which is better than starting from scratch," he says. "Our other sets are gone and will have to be rebuilt, but every television show does lidar scans of their sets and has all the architectural drawings. It’s not any harder than building the set the first time. The cast, the entire Warrior family, has never lost touch. And in a sense, the pandemic almost helped because everybody was home, and all sorts of online communications were happening. And also, a lot of actors didn’t run off and get under option on other shows, so we’re pretty optimistic we’ll get everybody back."
Warrior's comeback story fulfills the promise of streaming services: "It’s great because the show is filled with badass action and cool stories and stuff like this happens frequently, which gives the geniuses at the HBO Max captions department room to get as creative as they desire," says Brian Grubb. "But it’s also great because, like, this was kind of the promise of streaming services way back when, to provide a place for niche programming to reach a highly-targeted audience in a way that makes it financially viable. The whole 'save this show' discussion. It hasn’t always worked out this way, which stinks, and yes this is me once again getting upset that Happy Endings and Lodge 49 couldn’t find a home despite bringing me as much joy as any shows I’ve ever watched. But this is good. It’s a move in the right direction. Warrior is back."