AMC backed up and unloaded the hyphens wagon for “Into the Badlands,” debuting at 9 p.m. Sunday. It’s a post-apocalyptic, martial-arts, steam-punk, spirit-quest, six-episode drama set in a future world of plantation-living feudal barons where there are no guns but cool sunglasses and cooler motorcycles.

Also beautiful, if bone-crunching, fight sequences that are meticulously choreographed to advance story lines much like the songs in a musical comedy.

“In a way, they’re showstoppers and plot-movers,” said Alfred Gough, “Into the Badlands” co-creator and executive producer.

The series filmed in south Louisiana earlier this year, starting with a weekslong martial arts boot camp for the cast. Key locations include Evergreen Plantation and Fort Macomb.

“The show is set in America far, far into the future,” Gough said. “It’s post-apocalyptic, but it’s not the dusty, desaturated world of most post-apocalyptic stuff. Nature has encroached and come back. When we wrote it, we actually kind of wrote it with New Orleans in mind.”

The setting is “a world where nature is dominant and humans are the guests,” added Miles Millar, also co-creator and executive producer. “For us, our needs, it was perfect.

“The insects are giant; the heat is intense. It felt very appropriate for the show.”

And, “The catering, by the way, was fantastic,” Gough said. “Unbelievable. Even our Hong Kong crew said, ‘This is the best catering we’ve ever had on any project.’ ”

Prior co-writing credits for Gough and Millar include the TV series “Smallville” and the Jackie Chan films “Shanghai Noon” and “Shanghai Knights.”

For this project, elements of the Ming dynasty Chinese novel “Journey to the West” served as a loose story template.

“It’s one of the seeds of inspiration,” Millar said. “I see the show as a kind of giant mash-up to create something authentically original. It owes a debt to (“Journey”) as much as it does to the Kurosawa movies and to the aesthetic of spaghetti Westerns.

“It is that hopefully grand blend of things that becomes its own thing.”

San Francisco Bay area-born Daniel Wu, who turned a modeling career into Hong Kong-based stardom in dozens of martial-arts films, is the series’ charismatic lead, a lethal weapon named Sunny who’s tattooed with a hash mark for every kill.

Wu, who’s also an executive producer on the show, said the “Journey” novel inspired his character’s “spirit-quest.”

The characters “really are involved in this virtual odyssey of enlightenment,” he said. “This is where it becomes very relatable, I think, to contemporary audiences.”

“Our hero has really reached a crisis point in his life, a midlife crisis for a guy who’s killed more people than anybody, a killer without a conscience. He reaches a point in his life where he doesn’t want to do it anymore, which I think is very relatable to anybody who works a job that becomes nullifying. After a while it becomes deadening, and I think that’s what he’s reached.”

His character arc is to “discover what the point of it is,” Wu said. “What’s the point of living? What’s the point of his life? Ultimately, it is a spiritual quest, and that’s what we took as a core idea from ‘Journey to the West.’ It’s a journey to enlightenment.”

It’s also a journey to a lot of spinning head-kicks and crushed limbs.

The fight scenes are so central to the series that a second film unit worked full-time to prep and capture the sequences, which were directed by Hong Kong-born martial arts star Stephen Fung and scripted in detail before filming launched.

“The units soon became a 3-D chess game,” Gough said.

“Our goal was to try to bring this level of action to American television because it’s never been done before,” Wu said. “What we realized is that, why it’s never been done before is that it’s so hard to do.

“I was always stepping back and forth between the drama unit and the fight unit.

“I’ve done almost 70 films, and this is probably the hardest I’ve ever worked on anything.”