10:17am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Akira Kurosawa's 'Rashomon' Getting the TV Treatment
Akira Kurosawa's iconic film Rashomon is coming to the small screen.
Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television has optioned the rights to the 1950 psychological thriller from the famed director and screenwriter for television. The company, which is investing another $50 million to fund (and own) select TV content, plans to adapt Rashomon as a 10-episode dramatic thriller. A network/outlet is not yet attached.
Each season of the potential series 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 POVs will the audience come away with the truth behind the mystery.
Amblin TV co-presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will exec produce alongside Atmosphere's Mark Canton (Power) and David Hopwood and Opus 7's Leigh Ann Burton. All the companies are working with the Kurosawa Estate on the project.
"We couldn’t be more excited to adapt this extraordinary film as the foundation for a new dramatic mystery thriller series,” Frank and Falvey said in a joint statement announcing the news Tuesday. “It will explore the boundaries of truth and how different perspectives don’t often reveal the same reality. We also couldn’t be happier to be in business with Mark, Leigh Ann and David who are great producers and partners.”
Rashomon becomes the latest TV foray for Amblin Television, the production company behind FX's late and great The Americans, Netflix breakout The Haunting of Hill House, The CW's Roswell, New Mexico, Apple's Amazing Stories, Hulu's Animaniacs revival and Showtime's long-gestating Halo. Rashomon will be the first series Amblin will finance as part of a change from its role as an indie producer.
Rashomon is best known for its plot device that involves characters providing contradictory versions of the same incident, helping to usher in a new style of storytelling. The feature also helped bring Japanese film onto a larger stage. It is considered one of the greatest films ever made.
"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,” Burton said.