The modern take on the groundbreaking classic will be written by Oscar® nominees Billy Ray and Virgil Williams
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Amblin Television and HBO Max today announced that they have entered into a deal to develop a show inspired by the acclaimed Akira Kurosawa film Rashomon, with Oscar® nominees Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games, The Comey Rule) and Virgil Williams (Mudbound, A Journal for Jordan) writing.
Amblin Partners’ Co-Presidents of Television Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (The Americans, Haunting of Hill House) will executive produce, along with Mark Canton (Power, 300) of Atmosphere Entertainment, Leigh Ann Burton of Opus7 Entertainment, and David Hopwood (Den of Thieves, Immortals). Todd Cohen, SVP Television Development, will oversee the day-to-day development of the project for Amblin, with Frank and Falvey.
In 2018, Amblin announced that they had secured the blessing of the Kurosawa family to create a new series inspired by the iconic 1950 film, after Burton and Canton approached them with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was Burton who successfully navigated the complex negotiation, to close the deal.
The series will not be an adaptation but will retain the key plot device of the groundbreaking Kurosawa film – a drama centering around a grisly sexual assault and murder, and the unraveling mystery seen through multiple characters’ competing narratives – to explore the themes of truth and subjective point of view, in a modern setting. Each episode will present the perceived truth of an individual character – putting each, in turn, at the center of the story and telling the events surrounding the murder from their unique, self-serving point of view.
“I am delighted to work with Amblin Partners and HBO Max to reimagine Rashomon for today’s audience. I am excited to see my dad’s vision through this inspirational story kept alive and made accessible to a new generation,” said Hisao Kurosawa.
“Truth has become increasingly fractured in this age of cable news and social media’s ‘say it and it’s true’ culture,” said Frank and Falvey. “Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece was not just a murder mystery; it was a revolution in storytelling, as cinema’s most impactful and influential early exploration of subjective points of view and flawed narration. Seventy years after the film’s release, the legacy of Rashomon is indisputable and its central themes more relevant than ever. Our series will honor the impact of the original work and explore the age-old concept of objective truth versus subjective perspective in our modern times.”
“It takes a lot of hard work to make the stars align and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to create an original take on Rashomon – a masterpiece from a true genius of cinema – for new audiences, with the full support and blessing of the Kurosawa family,” said Canton. “Not only that, but to be doing so in partnership with my friends and colleagues at Amblin Television, as well as the brilliantly talented Billy Ray and Virgil Williams, is truly the convergence of hard work and good fortune that every producer hopes for.”
“We are excited to work with Amblin Partners and our incredible writing team. Everyone involved understands the caliber and cache of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon and his legacy,” said Burton.
“Our partnership on Rashomon is based on our mutual pledge to make every single episode, every scene, and every character of this show a loving homage to Kurosawa’s talent as an artist. That’s our true north,” said Williams and Ray.
Virgil Williams is represented by Craig Brody of Map Point Management and John Meigs Jr. of Hansen, Jacobson, et. al.
Billy Ray is represented by Peter Nichols of Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler Feldman & Clark.
About Amblin Television
Amblin Television, a long-time leader in quality programming, is a division of Amblin Partners, a content creation company led by Steven Spielberg. Amblin Television’s co-presidents, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, oversee all development, production and programming for the company. Amblin Television currently has eight projects in various stages of production and release, including The Haunting of Bly Manor – the follow-up chapter to acclaimed series The Haunting of Hill House – for Netflix, Animaniacs for Hulu, a third season of Roswell, New Mexico for The CW, Brave New World from Peacock, Halo for Showtime, Masters of the Air for Apple, Gremlins for HBO Max, and Resident Alien for SYFY.
Some of Amblin Television’s previous credits include the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning drama The Americans for FX, Emmy-nominated HBO movie All The Way starring Bryan Cranston, Smash for NBC, Under the Dome for CBS, Falling Skies for TNT, The Borgias and The United States of Tara for Showtime, and Las Vegas for NBC.
Matt Andreé Wiltens