The last time legendary Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada – star of Westworld, Mortal Kombat, and Bullet Train –graced our screens, he was helping his old pal John Wick and going toe-to-toe (or, err, sword-to-sword) with Donnie Yen in Chad Stahelski's all-out action epic John Wick: Chapter 4. And in the first trailer for feudal Japan-set FX series Shōgun, it looks like the man they call Hiro has even bigger fish to fillet. Check out the trailer below;
Close-quarters combat. Beach-bound archer batallions. Symbolic birds of prey. Portentous talk of living and dying. Sanada rallying the troops, ready for war. This. Looks. EPIC! Based on James Clavell's eponymous 1975 novel, this 10-part limited series - which boasts Top Gun: Maverick story co-creator Justin Marks as its showrunner - takes place in Japan, in the year 1600. Sanada stars as Lord Yoshii Toranaga, who finds himself at the centre of a century-defining civil war when his enemies on the Council of Regents ally against him. And as if that weren't enough, the arrival of an Englishman - Cosmo Jarvis' John Blackthorne - with secrets that could turn the tide in Toranaga's favour, and the presence of a Chinese translator (Anna Sawai) with a complicated lineage, sets in motion an epic collision of disparate cultures and warring factions that will change the course of history.
The official logline for the series reads as follows; "When a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village, its English pilot, John Blackthorne (Jarvis), comes bearing secrets that could help Toranaga tip the scales of power and devastate the formidable influence of Blackthorne’s own enemies — the Jesuit priests and Portuguese merchants. Toranaga’s and Blackthorne’s fates become inextricably tied to their translator, Toda Mariko (Sawai), a mysterious Christian noblewoman and the last of a disgraced line. While serving her lord amidst this fraught political landscape, Mariko must reconcile her newfound companionship with Blackthorne, her commitment to the faith that saved her and her duty to her late father.”
Sanada, Jarvis, and Sawai are joined in this historical action epic by Tadanobu Asano, Hiroto Kanai, Takehiro Hira, Moeka Hoshi, Tokuma Nishioka, Shinnosuke Abe, Yuki Kura and Fumi Nikaido. Rachel Kondo and Marks are the series' co-creators.
Shōgun is due to drop on Hulu and FX in February 2024. We'll let you know as soon as we have a UK launch date. Until then, looks like we're watching John Wick: Chapter 4 again - as if we needed an excuse!