FX has resurrected a new take on “Shōgun,” a 10-episode limited series period drama that had originally been set up at sister broadcast network Fox.
Based on the novel by Clavell, and made famous by a 1980 TV miniseries starring Richard Chamberlain, feudal Japan-set “Shōgun” charts “the collision of two ambitious men from different worlds and a mysterious female samurai: John Blackthorne, a risk-taking English sailor who ends up shipwrecked in Japan, a land whose unfamiliar culture will ultimately redefine him; Lord Toranaga, a shrewd, powerful daimyo, at odds with his own dangerous, political rivals; and Lady Mariko, a woman with invaluable skills but dishonorable family ties, who must prove her value and allegiance.”
Eugene Kelly (“Westworld,” “Leftovers”) and Ronan Bennett (“Public Enemies,” “Top Boy”) will write the series, while Tim Van Patten (“The Sopranos,” “Boardwalk Empire”) will direct multiple episodes. Kelly, Bennett and Van Patten will also executive produce with Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA TV (“Ex Machina,” “28 Days Later”), Michael De Luca (“Moneyball,” “The Social Network”), and Michaela Clavell.
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FX Productions will shoot “Shōgun” in the UK and Japan.
“The story of Shōgun has captivated audiences since James Clavell first released his epic novel more than 40 years ago,” said FX Networks CEO John Landgraf, who announced the pickup on Friday. “The themes of an outsider encountering a new culture are as relevant today as then. We are honored to bring the series to today’s viewers through our partnership with executive producers Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, Michael De Luca, Clavell’s daughter Michaela, and Eugene Kelly. We are equally thrilled that Ronan Bennett and Rachel Bennette are writing the new adaption, and that Tim Van Patten will bring his vision and expertise to directing this saga of adventure, power and loyalty that the world has come to know as Shōgun.”
“Shōgun” was first published in 1975 and went on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide. The original “Shōgun” miniseries event aired in September 1980 over five nights on NBC. It starred Richard Chamberlain as Major John Blackthorne, Toshiro Mifune starred as Lord Yoshi Toranaga and Yoko Shimada as Lady Toda Mariko.
“Shōgun” was originally announced by Fox in 2013 as part of a slate of ambitious limited series that also included the project that would become “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” at FX.