Rashomon to be reimagined for new audiences

Well this is exciting…

A TV series based on Rashomon is in development for HBO.

Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 movie was ground-breaking for its plot device, with the rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband told from several different perspectives -the first of its kind. It went on to win several major awards, including an honorary Oscar two years later and is frequently cited as one of the greatest films ever made.

Now Kurosawa’s son, Hisao Kurosawa, is partnering with Amblin for a new take. Not a direct adaptation, it will retain the key plot device. It is described as a drama revolving around a grisly sexual assault and murder, and the unraveling mystery seen through multiple characters’ competing narratives.

“I am delighted to work with Amblin Partners and HBO Max to reimagine Rashomon for today’s audience. I am excited to see my dad’s vision through this inspirational story kept alive and made accessible to a new generation,” he said.

The series has Billy Ray (Captain Philips The Comey Rule) and Virgil Williams writing with Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will executive produce, along with Mark Canton of Atmosphere Entertainment, Leigh Ann Burton of Opus7 Entertainment, and David Hopwood.

“Truth has become increasingly fractured in this age of cable news and social media’s “say it and it’s true” culture,” said Frank and Falvey. “Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece was not just a murder mystery; it was a revolution in storytelling, as cinema’s most impactful and influential early exploration of subjective points of view and flawed narration. 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.”

“Our partnership on Rashomon is based on our mutual pledge to make every single episode, every scene, and every character of this show a loving homage to Kurosawa’s talent as an artist. That’s our true north.”

A series would be expected to screen in Australia on Foxtel / Binge.

Source: Variety


  1. Rashomon is based on Ryūnosuke Akutagawa’s 1922 short story “In A Grove”, an early Modernist classic questioning traditional Japanese mythos. Rashomon is an ancient Japanese morality play which was used as the setting and framing of Kurosawa and Hashimoto’s screenplay for Post WWII Japan, (and which Akutagawa also wrote a version of as an early short story).

    The the narrative structure of “In The Grove” has been used many times, (usually in TV episodes called “Rashomon”), as it’s out of copyright (he committed suicide in 1927) and you can’t copyright a structure anyway. “Rashomon” itself inspired Jamush’s Ghost Dog.

    Amblin has got the copyright to Kurosawa’s screen play so they can make a serial TV drama for streaming on HBO Max. “Rashomon” was a near perfect film of its time and place. What a modern Hollywood #MeToo version is going to be like makes me want…

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