Steven Spielberg Developing Kurosawa’s Rashomon For TV

Rashomon (1950)

by Owen Williams |
Published on

Having worked with Akira Kurosawa to bring 1990's Dreams to life, Steven Spielberg's admiration for the great Japanese director has always been clear. Now Spielberg, through his production company Amblin, is working to bring Kurosawa's 1950 classic Rashomon to a new audience, and in a new form. The 88-minute film will be reimagined and remade as a ten-episode TV series.

Based on the 1922 short story "In A Grove" by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Kurosawa's melodrama presents a murder from four different viewpoints: those of a husband and wife, a bandit (played by thunderous Kurosawa regular Toshiro Mifune), and a passing witness who ultimately reveals what really happened.

The new version will expand that set-up to ten separate points of view: one for each episode, with viewers only piecing together the truth of the mystery having worked through each of the individual stories.

"We couldn’t be more excited to adapt this extraordinary film as the foundation for a new dramatic mystery thriller series," said Amblin TV co-presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey in a statement. "It will explore the boundaries of truth and how different perspectives don’t often reveal the same reality.”

"It has been an honour to work with the Kurosawa Estate, and to partner with Amblin Television... to create a series inspired by Rashomon, producer Leigh Ann Burton added. "I can think of no better way to introduce today’s television audience to the legacy of this brilliant and esteemed filmmaker."

No creative team beyond the producers has yet been announced, and the new Rashomon has yet to find a home on a TV channel or streaming service. But the high profiles of Spielberg, Amblin and Rashomon itself mean there's likely to be fraught competition when the bidding finally starts.

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