The project, which has been in the works since late 2018, will not be a direct adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s classic film, but will retain the key plot device. It is described as a drama centering around a grisly sexual assault and murder, and the unraveling mystery seen through multiple characters’ competing narratives.
The series has Billy Ray, whose recent credits include “Captain Philips” and “The Comey Rule,” and Virgil Williams writing. Amblin co-presidents of TV Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will executive produce, along with Mark Canton of Atmosphere Entertainment, Leigh Ann Burton of Opus7 Entertainment, and David Hopwood.
“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, Akira Kurosawa’s son.
“Rashomon” was originally released in 1950, and went on to win several major awards, including an honorary Oscar two years later. It is frequently cited as one of the greatest films ever made, and has been imitated and parodied many times since its release.
“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.”
“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,” added Williams and Ray in a joint statement.
Williams is represented by Craig Brody of Map Point Management and John Meigs Jr. of Hansen, Jacobson, et. al. Ray is represented by Peter Nichols of Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler Feldman & Clark.