Amblin Television announced on Tuesday that it has optioned the rights to Akira Kurosawa’s highly-acclaimed Toshiro Mifune starrer, Rashomon. Based originally off of Akutagawa Ryunosuke’s 1922 short story, “In The Grove”, the film serves as a hugely celebrated classic – initially met with negative reviews at home before its international recognition a cornerstone of cinematic history and film academia.
The 12th century-set groundbreaking and iconic 1950 film depicting the mystery and intrigue surrounding recount of events centered on a bandit accused of raping a woman and murdering her samurai husband, will serve as the basis for a new series from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin’s television banner. Ryan Faughnder at the Los Angeles Times reports that the news comes at a momentous moment for the TV shingle which, in the wake of the proliferation of streaming services such as Netflix and the like, is ponying up more than $50 million in equity and debt financing to fund TV shows with the goal of funding three shows annually.
As the press announcement notes, each season of the 10-episode drama will focus on a singular event told from multiple points of view where each of the main characters provides a unique and different perspective of the event based on their specific and subjective point of view. Only by watching each of the episodes, and seeing the differing character’s perspectives, will the audience come away with the truth behind the mystery.
Amblin TV’s Co-Presidents, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (The Americans, The Haunting of Hill House), will partner with Atmosphere’s Mark Canton (Power) and David Hopwood, and Opus 7’s Leigh Ann Burton to executive produce. The goal is to attach a writer next month and pitch to networks with a script and series for a 2020 air date.
“We couldn’t be more excited to adapt this extraordinary film as the foundation for a new dramatic mystery thriller series,” said Frank and Falvey. “It will explore the boundaries of truth and how different perspectives don’t often reveal the same reality,” said Frank and Falvey. “We also couldn’t be happier to be in business with Mark, Leigh Ann, and David, who are great producers and partners.”
“We can’t wait to dig in with Justin and Darryl and everyone at Amblin as we adapt this iconic title for television. We feel this storytelling approach and the way it explores truth and reality is especially timely in today’s world,” said Mark Canton of Atmosphere.
“It has been an honor to work with the Kurosawa Estate, and to partner with Amblin Television and Mark Canton, to create a series inspired by ‘Rashomon,’ written by Akira Kurosawa. I can think of no better way to introduce today’s television audience to the legacy of this brilliant and esteemed filmmaker,” said Leigh Ann Burton of Opus 7.