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Cary Joji Fukunaga, Nicole Kassell to Make ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ Series

Cary Joji Fukunaga and “Watchmen” director Nicole Kassell are teaming up to bring “The Last of the Mohicans” to TV, Variety has learned.

The prospective series, based on the 1826 novel by James Fenimore Cooper, hails from Paramount TV, Anonymous Content and Fukanaga’s Parliament of Owls. Fukanaga is currently under an overall deal at Paramount TV.

“The clash of civilizations during the Seven Years War, which frames the story of ‘Last of the Mohicans,’ has been a long-time passion of mine. It was a world war before the term even existed. The opportunity to recreate the story’s strong-willed and free-thinking characters, with talents including Nick Osborne and Nicole Kassell, is incredibly exciting to me. Together with Paramount TV and Anonymous Content, we have the chance to revive the forgotten ancestors that define American identity today,” Fukanaga said.

Written by Fukunaga and Nicholas Osborne and directed by Kassell, the series will be a retelling of James Fenimore Cooper’s French and Indian War novel, that re-centers the classic tale on the unlikely romance between Uncas, a young Mohican, and Cora, the mixed-race daughter of a British colonel.

“I am profoundly excited to be a part of this extraordinary team and to be bringing a new light and perspective to this period in our history. While the James Fenimore Cooper book and original film leave large shoes to fill, Nick and Cary’s script is a riveting read and fresh take. They embrace this incredible opportunity to show and explore characters so often marginalized,” Kassell said. “To echo a sentiment Nick expressed to me in our first conversation, ‘certain stories are timeless vessels that allow different generations to look at it and explore them in different ways.’ To be a part of bringing these eyes and hearts to the screen is the opportunity of a lifetime for me.”

Fukunaga, Osborne and Kassell will executive produce with Anonymous Content’s Alex Goldstone, Bard Dorros and Michael Sugar.

Cooper’s novel has been adapted many times for the big screen. The most recent and well-known adaptation is the 1992 iteration which starred Daniel Day-Lewis as Nathaniel Poe, also known as Hawkeye. That iteration arguably owed more to the 1936 film adaptation, which was directed by George B. Seitz and starred Randolph Scott in the same role.

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