Rashomon TV show

A Rashomon TV show is in the works at Amblin Entertainment, proving once again that no property, not even an acclaimed classic, is safe. Read more about the new adaptation of director Akira Kurosawa‘s 1950 masterpiece below, which is being described as a “dramatic mystery thriller series.”

Kurosawa’s movie is almost universally hailed as one of the premiere pieces of Japanese cinema, and it’s widely considered one of the best films ever made. The most memorable aspect of the movie, aside from Toshiro Mifune‘s devious performance, is that it explores a single event – the rape of a woman and subsequent death of her husband – from several different points of view. Its structure inspired the term “the Rashomon effect,” a phrase often used to describe stories told from multiple distinct perspectives.

Rashomon is easily one of the most influential films of the 20th century (and arguably ever), and even if you’ve never seen it, you’ve felt the ripple effects from it in films and TV shows like Star Wars: The Last Jedi (when the same scene is played out from Luke and Kylo Ren’s perspectives), Courage Under Fire, Gone Girl, The Handmaiden, Veronica Mars, JFK, Witness for the Prosecution, and dozens more. Remember the 2008 movie Vantage Point? That wouldn’t exist without Rashomon. (OK, so maybe not every aspect of its legacy is positive.)

The fact that the movie is so beloved makes any adaptation a risky proposition. But based on Deadline‘s report, it sounds like the new Rashomon TV show will primarily be taking the structure from the movie instead of retelling the exact events from it. According to the site, the plan is “to make each 10-episode season focus on a singular event told from multiple points of view. The differing characters’ perspectives will allow the audience to come away with the truth behind each mystery.” Amblin TV’s co-presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will executive produce alongside Mark Canton and David Hopwood from Atmosphere and Opus 7’s Leigh Ann Burton.

In a statement, Frank and Falvey explained that they’re excited “to adapt this extraordinary film as the foundation for” a TV show, while Canton said, “We feel this storytelling approach and the way it explores truth and reality is especially timely in today’s world.” Again, those quotes make it sound like they’re more interested in the storytelling construct then anything else; if that’s the case, why call it Rashomon? I realize it’s a classic movie, but will enough younger audience members get the reference? We’ll be following this one closely as it moves through development, so stay tuned.

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