The renewal of the martial arts drama based on the writings of Bruce Lee comes as Cinemax is ceasing production on original programming. The first two seasons are now available on HBO Max. Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee's daughter who has helped shepherd the series, says she and fellow executive producers Justin Lin and Jonathan Trooper "were thrilled when Warrior was put on HBO platforms to be discovered by a whole new legion of fans. Now we are excited and grateful for the opportunity to do another season, and we applaud HBO Max for understanding the importance of telling this story and for continuing to support this level of representation in our industry. I just know that my father is grinning right now to see this show he dreamed of so long ago continuing to beat the odds. We have every intention of delivering the same high level of meaningful storytelling and Gung Fu action in season 3!” Last month, writer Min Hyoung Song praised Warrior for being especially important amid a wave of anti-Asian violence. "It’s handling of racial stereotypes in particular is savvy," she wrote in the Los Angeles Review of Books. It doesn’t simply reject them, allowing them in this way to dictate what is presented on the screen in a futile attempt to deny their existence, but steers directly into their direction."
Executive producer Justin Lin said things changed after HBO Max told him last year Warrior "didn't fit the brand": Lin told Vanity Fair last fall that he was told Warrior "didn't fit the brand" when he asked why the then-Cinemax series wasn't available to stream on HBO Max upon the streaming service's launch last May. "What we’ve experienced as a group since we last talked, it really kind of points to the spirit of this project," Lin now tells GQ in wake of the HBO Max renewal news. "From connecting with Shannon (Lee) all those years prior (to the show’s premiere), and just never letting up — (it’s been about) trying to have the right conversations and follow the reasons why we wanted to bring it to life. It was trying to engage with the right timing and the right people. Somehow since August, it all kind of lined up. And here we are, you know?" Did Warrior eventually premiering on HBO Max earlier this year play a role in its renewal? "I never got specific viewership information, but I was told that it did well," says Lin. "I get the business thing — the bigger number you get, the better conversation you can have about the show. I think HBO Max did open up the opportunity for people to experience the show, versus when it was on Cinemax, and the attention that we got was great. I started having conversations with people from other studios and networks, and it was really cool. It was not even about business — it was just people connecting with me, saying how much they loved the show."