Alex Tse

Alex Tse (born 1976) is an American screenwriter who wrote the 2004 gangster film Sucker Free City, co-wrote the 2009 superhero film Watchmen, and wrote the 2018 film Superfly. Tse grew up in San Francisco and attended Emerson College in Boston.

Alex Tse
Alex Tse (cropped)
Alex Tse in 2009
Born1976 (age 42–43)


Alex Tse, a Chinese American, was born in 1976 to a banker father and a teacher mother.[1] He grew up in Richmond District in San Francisco. He went to Alamo Elementary School, Presidio Middle School, and Lowell High School in the area.[2] When Tse was growing up, his parents were movie fans, and he was incidentally exposed to movies not appropriate for his age like Heavy Metal, Prom Night, and Altered States.[1] His father's favorite film was The Godfather, and the family would watch two films every Christmas, such as To Live and Die in L.A..[1]

Tse attended Emerson College in Boston.[2] When Tse was a first-year student at Emerson, he explored journalism as a career by having a radio show and realized that it was not his aspiration. He saw Pulp Fiction and was inspired by the film to pursue a screenwriting career.[3] He described Pulp Fiction's influence on him:

I had never seen anything like it, in terms of narrative structure, characters, the character's point of view, all the pop culture references and humor. It seemed like it was coming from my own sensibility... though the world of Pulp Fiction is so fantastic and obviously not my world, it felt like these were characters who were speaking from the perspective of people in your world. And I don't know that a movie has done that since.[1]

After Tse graduated from college,[2] he moved to Los Angeles in December 1998 to pursue a writing career.[4] He worked for under three years producing rap videos and working part-time jobs for Miramax Films and Walt Disney Pictures.[2] One of his first productions was the music video for the single "You Never Knew" from the album 3rd Eye Vision by Hieroglyphics, and the video eventually aired on Yo! MTV Raps. His work attracted the attention of other independent rappers, for whom he also produced videos. He was encouraged to begin temping and found temp work at Disney, particularly under then-president Peter Schneider. Tse also learned more about screenwriting by reading scripts, with two noteworthy examples being the onomatopoeia in James Mangold's script for Heavy and the sarcasm in the narrative for Man on the Moon.[1]

Screenwriting career

After three years of small jobs, Tse sold to television-based Showtime a script called 87 Fleer, about four middle-class kids from the Richmond District. The company was impressed with his script and encouraged him to write a pilot about gangs.[2] By June 2002, Tse submitted a first-story outline titled The Game for a potential television series. By the following September, the outline was developed into a full script that eventually became the Showtime television movie Sucker Free City (2004), directed by Spike Lee.[5] For the film, Tse won a literary award from PEN Center USA for best teleplay,[6] and he was nominated for best screenplay (original or adapted) for the 2006 Black Reel Awards.[2] After Sucker Free City was released, Tse and Lee discussed the possibility of producing a feature film based on Tse's first script 87 Fleer.[7] Tse developed a script for an untitled project for the singer Ashanti.[8] He also developed a script for a remake of Super Fly (1972) for Warner Bros. and Silver.[7] Tse said that the remake "had nothing to do with the original" and that it evolved into a possible film titled Gangland.[1]

After Sucker Free City, Tse performed uncredited production rewrites for such films as House of Wax, Step Up, and its sequel, Step Up 2: The Streets.[1] Tse's major screenwriting debut came when he was a co-writer for the 2009 superhero film Watchmen, which was directed by Zack Snyder.[9] He and fellow screenwriter David Hayter were nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Writing for Watchmen.[10] Tse has expressed interest in working with Darren Aronofsky, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Curtis Hanson, and Danny Boyle.[3] In 2012, Tse said he was planning to make his directorial debut with 87 Fleer.[11] Toward the end of 2013, Tse was hired by Columbia Pictures to write the script for a film adaptation of the racing video game series Gran Turismo. The Hollywood Reporter called Tse "one of the bigger names in genre screenwriting" for his work on a remake of The Crow, a live-action remake of the anime film Ninja Scroll, a film adaptation of the graphic novel Battling Boy by Paul Pope, and a remake of Highlander.[12]

Tse optioned in 2014 the rights to the 2010 graphic novel Tribes: The Dog Years by Michael Geszel and Peter Spinetta with an interest in writing and producing a film adaptation.[13] In 2017, the film was in development with Tse executive producing with Joel Silver's Silver Pictures.[14] Later in the year, Sony Pictures bought the rights to Super Fly to remake the film based on a script by Tse.[15] The remake, titled Superfly, premiered in June 2018.[16]

In April 2018, Alex Tse was writing the screenplay for The Last Masters, a martial arts action thriller that is a US-China co-production between Global Road Entertainment and Tang Media Partners.[17] In the following October, Hulu ordered the ten-episode drama Wu-Tang: An American Saga, a series about the American hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan.[16] The series is being created and written by The RZA and Tse.[18]


The following are films written by Alex Tse:

Year Film Notes
2004 Sucker Free City
2009 Watchmen Screenplay by Tse and David Hayter
2018 Superfly

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Wang, Oliver (July 17, 2009). "The Storyteller: An Interview with Alex Tse". Asia Pacific Arts. UCLA Asia Institute. Archived from the original on August 24, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hartlaub, Peter (July 8, 2003). "A young scriptwriter raised in San Francisco hooks up with Spike Lee to give Showtime a new show -- 'Sucker Free City.' Cable-car free, too". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on August 24, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Kim, Sylvie (March 12, 2009). "Watchmen's watcher, Alex Tse". Hyphen. Archived from the original on August 24, 2010.
  4. ^ Johnson, G. Allen (March 13, 2009). "Alex Tse: 'Watchmen' scribe started in S.F." San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on August 24, 2010.
  5. ^ Goodman, Tim (July 9, 2003). "Sucker Free City". San Francisco Chronicle.
  6. ^ "Winners — PEN Center USA". PEN Center USA. Archived from the original on August 24, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Rooney, David (September 16, 2004). "Sucker Free City Review". Variety.
  8. ^ Hartlaub, Peter (February 11, 2005). "Rapper's role in Showtime movie is for real". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on August 24, 2010.
  9. ^ Ellwood, Gregory (July 18, 2006). "World awaits 'Watchmen'". Variety.
  10. ^ "The 36th Saturn Award Nominations". Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Archived from the original on August 24, 2010.
  11. ^ Staff (January 17, 2012). "Featured Entertainer: Alex Tse". Science & Entertainment Exchange. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (November 21, 2013). "'Watchmen' Scribe Tackling 'Gran Turismo' for Columbia". The Hollywood Reporter.
  13. ^ Keily, Karl (June 4, 2014). "Michael Geszel Revisits Tribes: The Dog Years at IDW". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  14. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (April 19, 2017). "Crackle Renews 'Snatch,' Adds 50 Cent Drama Series 'The Oath'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  15. ^ Kroll, Justin; Lang, Brent (November 29, 2017). "'Super Fly' Remake in Works at Sony With 'Watchmen' Scribe (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  16. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (October 11, 2018). "Wu-Tang Drama Series Ordered By Hulu From The RZA, Alex Tse & Imagine TV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  17. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (April 9, 2018). "Global Road, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura Team For 'The Last Masters' U.S.-China Thriller". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 12, 2019). "'Wu-Tang: An American Saga': Ashton Sanders, Shameik Moore, Siddiq Saunderson Among 6 Cast In Hulu Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 19, 2019.

External links

36th Saturn Awards

The 36th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film and television in 2009 were presented on June 24, 2010, in Burbank, California. The most awards of the night were won by Avatar, winning all ten of its nominations. The film also won the Saturn Award for Best Special Edition DVD Release the following year.

Below is a complete list of nominees and winners. Winners are highlighted in boldface.

Alex Tse (attorney)

Alex G. Tse is an attorney who was the acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of California from 2018 to 2019. He served as acting attorney after the resignation of Brian Stretch, and he was succeeded by David L. Anderson.Prior to becoming acting US Attorney, Tse was a longtime federal prosecutor who worked in the City Attorney of San Francisco's office. He replaced the previous US Attorney, Brian Stretch, in January 2018.Tse is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley. He went to law school at University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Black Reel Award for Outstanding Screenplay, TV Movie or Limited Series

This page lists the winners and nominees for the Black Reel Award for Outstanding Screenplay of a Television Movie or Limited Series. As of the 2016 ceremony, Reggie Rock Bythewood is the only writer to win the award twice and David Simon is the only other person to have achieved a second nomination.

Black Reel Awards of 2006

The 2006 Black Reel Awards, which annually recognize and celebrate the achievements of black people in feature, independent and television films, took place in Washington, D.C. on February 18, 2006. Lackawanna Blues swept the awards with six wins, whilst in the film nominations Crash and Hustle & Flow each took home three awards.

Burning Hands

Burning Hands (Chinese: 乘勝狙擊; Cantonese Yale: Sìngsing Jēuigīk) is a Hong Kong crime television drama produced by Yip Chan-fai and TVB. The plot follows a team of con artists and illusionists, who are hired by a casino tycoon to find the mastermind behind his casino's embezzled funds. But the leader of the gang, Chak Koon-yat, has his own reasons for helping the mogul.

Burning Hands began principal photography in March 2016, which lasted until July 2016. It premiered on 16 January 2017.

David Hayter

David Hayter (born February 6, 1969) is a Canadian-American actor, voice actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He is well known as the English voice actor for Solid Snake and Naked Snake throughout many titles in the Metal Gear video game series. His works as a screenwriter include X-Men, X2 and Watchmen.

Gran Turismo (series)

Gran Turismo (Italian and Spanish for "grand tourer" or "grand touring"), abbreviated GT, is a series of racing video games developed by Polyphony Digital.

Developed for PlayStation systems, Gran Turismo games are intended to emulate the appearance and performance of a large selection of vehicles, nearly all of which are licensed reproductions of real-world automobiles. Since the franchise's debut in December 1997, over 80 million units have been sold worldwide for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Portable, making it the highest selling video game franchise under the PlayStation brand.Gran Turismo can trace back its origins to 1992, when Kazunori Yamauchi set out with a group of seven to develop the original Gran Turismo, which took five years to complete.

List of original programs distributed by Hulu

Beginning in 2011, streaming service Hulu began to produce its own original content. The first production released was the web series The Morning After, a light-hearted pop-culture news show. In 2012, Hulu announced that it would begin airing its first original scripted program, titled Battleground.

Mafia Wars

Mafia Wars was a multiplayer social network game created by Zynga.

In Mafia Wars the players play as gangsters building their own mafia. The players fight other players online, "rob" other players, and complete jobs, missions, and operations to gain rewards and strength in the endless game. The game is a freemium game, meaning it is free to play normally but players have the option of purchasing premium content and access to customer service.

Mafia Wars was the 2009 Webby Award People's Voice Winner in the Games category.A sequel, Mafia Wars 2, was released in October 2011 and was shut down on December 30, 2012.On April 5, 2016, it was announced via Zynga's forums that Mafia Wars would close down on June 6, 2016. Players were informed of this via an in-game message. The game was taken offline shortly past midnight PDT on June 7, 2016.

The game was relaunched on mobile, with revamped mechanics, in selected markets in April 2017. In July 2017, Zynga announced that all future work on the game was cancelled and the game was discontinued. Players were pushed to play Mob Wars: La Cosa Nostra, a similar mafia themed game operated by a Canadian Indie Gaming Studio, Kano.

Production of Watchmen

Watchmen is a 2009 film based on the twelve-issue graphic novel series of the same name created by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins, published by DC Comics between 1986 and 1987. The graphic novel's film rights were acquired by producer Lawrence Gordon in 1986. Many problems halted the adaptation's development, with four different studios and various directors and screenwriters being attached to the project through twenty years. In 2006, Zack Snyder, who at the time was filming 'another comic book adaptation', was hired by Warner Bros. to helm Watchmen. Filming started in 2007, and following deals with two of the previous companies involved in the development—Paramount Pictures was responsible for international distribution rights after budgetary issues in 2004, resulting in a lawsuit by 20th Century Fox. Fox, which was already contacted by Gordon in 1987, received $1 million of the gross—the Watchmen adaptation was finally released in March 2009.

Saturn Award for Best Writing

The Saturn Award for Best Writing is a Saturn Award presented by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.

Unlike most awards rewarding writing in films, it recognizes only the writer(s) of the screenplay, and not those of the story.

Superfly (2018 film)

Superfly is a 2018 American crime film directed by Director X and written by Alex Tse. A remake of the 1972 blaxploitation film Super Fly, it stars Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Michael K. Williams, Lex Scott Davis, and Jennifer Morrison, and follows a career criminal who tries to get out of the Atlanta drug scene, only to have one bad deal put him in harm's way. Rapper Future produced alongside Joel Silver, as well as writing the film's original songs. Superfly was released in the United States on June 13, 2018 and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the film's style but ultimately found a lack of substance.

The Crow (1994 film)

The Crow is a 1994 American supernatural superhero film directed by Alex Proyas, written by David J. Schow and John Shirley. The film stars Brandon Lee in his final film appearance. The film is based on James O'Barr's 1989 comic book The Crow, and tells the story of Eric Draven (Lee), a rock musician who is revived from the dead to avenge his own death as well as the rape and murder of his fiancée.

The lead actor, Brandon Lee, was accidentally wounded on set during filming by a defective blank and later died in the hospital during surgery. Only eight days left of production, unfinished scenes that were to feature him were dealt with a re-written format in the script, a stunt double and digital special effects. The film is dedicated to both Lee and his fiancée, Eliza.

Despite the several production setbacks due to Lee's death, The Crow was well-received critically for its unique visual style, premise, emotional depth and its tribute to the deceased actor. The film opened at the top of the box office and attained a strong cult following. It is the first installment of a franchise, which includes three sequels and a television series.

The Illustrated Man

The Illustrated Man is a 1951 collection of eighteen science fiction short stories by American writer Ray Bradbury. A recurring theme throughout the eighteen stories is the conflict of the cold mechanics of technology and the psychology of people. It was nominated for the International Fantasy Award in 1952.The unrelated stories are tied together by the frame device of "the Illustrated Man", a vagrant former member of a carnival freak show with an extensively tattooed body whom the unnamed narrator meets. The man's tattoos, allegedly created by a time-traveling woman, are individually animated and each tell a different tale. All but one of the stories had been published previously elsewhere, although Bradbury revised some of the texts for the book's publication.

The book was made into the 1969 The Illustrated Man, starring Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom. It presented adaptations of the stories "The Veldt", "The Long Rain" and "The Last Night of the World".

A number of the stories, including "The Veldt", "The Fox and the Forest" (as "To the Future"), "Marionettes, Inc.", and "Zero Hour" were dramatized for the 1955-57 radio series X Minus One. "The Veldt", "The Concrete Mixer", "The Long Rain", "Zero Hour", and "Marionettes Inc." were adapted for the TV series The Ray Bradbury Theater.

The Illustrated Man (film)

The Illustrated Man is a 1969 American science fiction film directed by Jack Smight and starring Rod Steiger as a man whose tattoos on his body represent visions of frightening futures. The film is based on three short stories from the 1951 collection The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury: "The Veldt," "The Long Rain," and "The Last Night of the World."

The Phantom Tollbooth (film)

The Phantom Tollbooth, also known as The Adventures of Milo in the Phantom Tollbooth, is a 1970 American live-action/animated film based on Norton Juster's 1961 children's book The Phantom Tollbooth. This film was produced by Chuck Jones at MGM Animation/Visual Arts and stars Butch Patrick as Milo with the voice talents of Mel Blanc, Daws Butler, Candy Candido, Hans Conried, June Foray, Patti Gilbert, Shepard Menken, Cliff Norton, Larry Thor, and Les Tremayne. Jones also directed the film, save for the live action bookends directed by fellow Warner Bros. Cartoons alum Dave Monahan. The film was released to theaters by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on November 7, 1970, and was the last MGM feature film release to include both live-action and animated segments.

Completed by 1968, the film was held up for release by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer until late 1970 due to internal problems. The animation studio closed soon after the film's release, with MGM leaving the animation business for good. Juster had no input into the adaptation, and has expressed his hatred for the film in an interview: "It was a film I never liked. I don't think they did a good job on it. It's been around for a long time. It was well reviewed, which also made me angry."

The Winter of Frankie Machine

The Winter of Frankie Machine is a 2006 thriller novel by American writer Don Winslow.

Watchmen (film)

Watchmen is a 2009 American neo-noir superhero film directed by Zack Snyder, based on the 1986–87 DC Comics limited series of the same name by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It stars an ensemble cast of Malin Åkerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Patrick Wilson. A dark satirical and dystopian take on the superhero genre, the film is set in an alternate history in the year 1985 at the height of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, as a group of mostly retired American superheroes investigates the murder of one of their own before uncovering an elaborate and deadly conspiracy, while their moral limitations are challenged by the complex nature of the circumstances.

From October 1987 until October 2005, a live-action film adaptation of the Watchmen series became stranded in development hell; producer Lawrence Gordon began developing the project at 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., the parent company of Watchmen publisher DC Comics, with producer Joel Silver and director Terry Gilliam, with the latter eventually deeming the complex comic "un-filmable". During the 2000s, Gordon and Lloyd Levin collaborated with Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures to produce a script by David Hayter; Darren Aronofsky and Paul Greengrass were also attached to the project before it was cancelled over budget disputes; and in October 2005, the project returned to Warner Bros., where Snyder was hired to direct; Paramount remained as its international distributor whereas Warner Bros. would distribute the film in the United States. However, Fox sued Warner Bros. for copyright violation arising from Gordon's failure to pay a buy-out in 1991, which enabled him to develop the film at the other studios. Fox and Warner Bros. settled this before the film's release, with Fox receiving a portion of the gross. Principal photography began in Vancouver, September 2007. As with his previous film 300, Snyder closely modelled his storyboards on the comic, but chose not to shoot all of Watchmen using green screens and opted for real sets instead.

Following its world premiere at Odeon Leicester Square on February 23, 2009, the film was released in both conventional and IMAX theaters on March 6, 2009, and grossed $55 million on its opening weekend and over $185 million at the worldwide box office. The film's reception has been very polarized, with many critics voicing either strong positive or negative views. A DVD based on elements of the Watchmen universe was released, including an animated adaptation of the comic Tales of the Black Freighter within the story starring Gerard Butler, and the fictional biography Under the Hood, detailing the older generation of superheroes from the film's back-story. A director's cut with 24 minutes of additional footage was released in July 2009. The "Ultimate Cut" edition incorporated the animated comic Tales of the Black Freighter into the narrative as it was in the original graphic novel, lengthening the runtime to 3 hours and 35 minutes, and was released on November 3, 2009.

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