Once Were Warriors TV show remake coming 30 years after film

Once Were Warriors is to get a TV show remake, and new book.
Once Were Warriors is to get a TV show remake, and new book. Photo credit: Supplied

Classic New Zealand movie Once Were Warriors is to get a new small screen adaptation and a companion novel, according to reports out of Hollywood.

The TV series will be made by Wheel of Time producer Rick Selvage and the original novel's author Alan Duff, according to Deadline Hollywood.

A companion novel called Once Were Warriors: Generations is also due to be released.

Duff is believed to be collaborating with Onphaya, a US-based production company.

Generations will bring the Heke family forward 30 years to the present day with new characters and stories. It's not known if Jake the Muss, originally played by Temuera Morrison in the 1994 film, will feature.

"Political aspirations, financial schemes, cultural clashes, and a search for redemption are at the core of this series filtered through the distinctive Māori culture and the Heke family's unforgiving past. It will be set against the backdrop of New Zealand's multicultural society and the universal socio-economic tensions of the present day," Deadline reported the producers as saying.

The new novel and series will be set in Auckland and Rotorua.

Duff is quoted as saying the new series will "break your heart".

"It's these worldwide themes that inspired me to extend this family saga and bring it forward to the present day and to find a producing partner who understood the vision and possessed the sensibilities needed to bring it to a global broadcast audience," he said.

"It will break your heart. It will make your spirits soar and your senses reel. This is my promise."

Rick Selvage said it was Duff's "passion" that led him back to the story.

"Who can resist the power of a Once Were Warriors storyline told through the eyes of the rich indigenous Māori culture and the beauty that is New Zealand. I was drawn to the passion in Alan's storytelling and the exciting new modern world he has created with the Heke family, their personal challenges and ultimate triumph."

There has been no date yet mentioned for release, nor has there been any streaming site or publisher attached to the news.