A four-part documentary series from “Tindler Swindler” producers AGC Television will delve into the world of renowned chef and hotelier Nobu Matsuhisa.
Titled “Nobu,” the series is co-produced with Gianni Nunnari’s Hollywood Gang and Altimeter, and is in pre-production. It will be directed by documentarian Matt Tyrnauer (“Valentino: The Last Emperor,” “Studio 54”).
Matsuhisa is a pioneering restauranteur and businessman with 47 restaurants and 27 hotels bearing the ‘Nobu’ name. However, his path to success was unlikely and riddled with obstacles, adversity and tragedy. An official description for the series bills it as an “epic journey from Japan to Peru to the United States and many other points around the world that will be uncovered by exclusive access to Nobu, his global empire, and his key collaborators, friends and famous fans.”
Tyrnauer’s latest projects include “The Reagans,” a four-part documentary series for Showtime that re-examines Reagans’ America and the impact of their politics and policies, and the documentary series “Home” for Apple. Tyrnauer is also in post-production on the documentary series “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” for Hulu.
Tyrnauer and Altimeter co-founder Corey Reeser are on board as executive producers along with Nunnari, Ford, AGC founder Stuart Ford, AGC president of TV Lourdes Diaz and executive VP of non-fiction content BJ Levin. Reeser will also serve as showrunner.
Ford said: “To help a world class filmmaker such as Matt tell of the journeys past and present of a global culinary and cultural icon such as Matsuhisa-san is an exhilarating prospect. We are therefore thrilled to be working with our partners at Hollywood Gang and Altimeter to bring this ambitious multicultural docuseries to life.”
Added Nunnari: “I have known Nobu for so much of my life; he is a man that I profoundly respect, both for his craft and for his wise approach to life. I am thrilled to help share Nobu’s inspiring journey with the world.”
Said Tyrnauer: “This is one of the greatest, most inspiring and interesting stories I have ever had the opportunity to tell. Nobu’s reinvention of a cuisine, his staggering success in redefining the food culture worldwide, and his push into the hotel business would be impressive and interesting enough for a series, but I am floored by the unknown story of the man. He’s a study in perseverance and triumph over adversity—a self-made individual, whose career almost crashed and burned.
“There are plot twists, great lows, and, more recently, staggering highs. I have not encountered a subject for a cinema verité film like this since my first film, ‘Valentino: The Last Emperor.’ There are a lot of similarities, in fact, between Valentino and Nobu: both redefined their art forms and are great survivors in the toughest of businesses.”
The deal was negotiated by WME on behalf of Altimeter; by AGC’s senior VP of legal and business affairs Anant Tamirisa on behalf of AGC; and by Alan Grodin of Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin on behalf of Hollywood Gang.