Amblin to Produce Mystery Series Based on ‘Rashomon’

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Toshiro Mifune and Machiko Kyo in a scene from Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon.”

Amblin Television announced Dec. 18 that it has optioned the rights to “Rashomon,” Akira Kurosawa’s groundbreaking, iconic film, as the basis for a new dramatic mystery thriller series.

Each season of the 10-episode series will focus on a singular event told from multiple points of view where each of the main characters provides a unique and different perspective of the event based on their specific and subjective point of view. Only by watching each of the episodes, and seeing the differing character’s perspectives, will the audience come away with the truth behind the mystery.

Amblin TV’s co-presidents, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, both known for “The Americans” and “The Haunting of Hill House,” along with Atmosphere’s Mark Canton (“Power”) and Leigh Ann Burton from Opus 7, are executive producers. David Hopwood from Atmosphere also executive produces.

“We couldn’t be more excited to adapt this extraordinary film as the foundation for a new dramatic mystery thriller series,” said Frank and Falvey. “It will explore the boundaries of truth and how different perspectives don’t often reveal the same reality. We also couldn’t be happier to be in business with Mark, Leigh Ann, and David, who are great producers and partners.”

“We can’t wait to dig in with Justin and Darryl and everyone at Amblin as we adapt this iconic title for television. We feel this storytelling approach and the way it explores truth and reality is especially timely in today’s world,” said Canton.

“It has been an honor to work with the Kurosawa Estate, and to partner with Amblin Television and Mark Canton, to create a series inspired by ‘Rashomon,’ written by Akira Kurosawa. I can think of no better way to introduce today’s television audience to the legacy of this brilliant and esteemed filmmaker,” said Burton.

Amblin Television currently has nine series in various stages of production, including “Bull” for CBS, “Roswell, New Mexico” for the CW, the adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” for Netflix, “Amazing Stories” for Apple, “Halo” for Showtime, “Cortes and Moctezuma” for Amazon, “Animaniacs” for Hulu, “Why We Hate” for Discovery, and pilot “Resident Alien” for SYFY.

In “Rashomon” (1950), the rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recounted from the perspectives of different characters — the thief (Toshiro Mifune), the wife (Machiko Kyo), a woodcutter who claims to have witnessed the crime (Takashi Shimura) and the spirit of the murdered man (Masayuki Mori). The term “Rashomon effect” refers to subjective, inconsistent accounts by different people of the same event.

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