A Rashomon-inspired series is currently in development at HBO Max. Rashomon (1950) the classic film directed by the legendary Akira Kurosawa was a revolutionary piece of cinema. Before cinephiles spiral into panic, let it be known that the upcoming drama isn’t looking at a direct adaptation. The series backed by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television will be loosely based on the film’s mind-bending central mystery.
The drama inspired by Rashomon was in the works back in 2018 and as per reports on Deadline, the show is moving into the development phase at HBO Max. The series is written by Billy Ray who is best known for Captain Phillips and his recent series The Comey Rule. On board to co-write is Virgil Williams whose credits include Mudbound. Of the plot we know that it will be centered on the film’s main plot device which is sexual assault and murder explored through multiple characters’ point of view. So we can expect the mystery to be retained with a multi-narration structure.
Rashomon, set in Kyoto’s is about the rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband. The film goes over the details of the crime through the perspectives of four characters – the bride, the samurai’s ghost, a bandit and a woodcutter. The varying versions of the truth compete in the eventful film that questions justice and humanity.
Talking about the relevance of the project Amblin’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey said, “Seventy years after the film’s release, the legacy of Rashomon is indisputable and its central themes more relevant than ever. Our series will honor the impact of the original work and explore the age-old concept of objective truth versus subjective perspective in our modern times.”
Often regarded as one of the finest film in the history of cinema, Rashomon is a masterpiece. While the film is set within a specific decade and culture, its universality transcends time and space. Revisiting a Kurosawa film with a new story instead of an adaptation is fresh proof that the film is a gift that keeps on giving. And hopefully, it will familiarise viewers with the filmmakers works by reference.
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