FX is developing the scripted series Shogun, a retelling of James Clavell‘s bestselling novel, which is being billed as Game of Thrones in feudal Japan. Boardwalk Empire producer and Thrones director Tim Van Patten is set to produce the series.
At the Disney Investors conference, FX announced that it is developing a retelling of Shogun from Counterpart creator Justin Marks and his wife Rachel Kondo, who will act as supervising producer. The duo are teaming up with Tim Van Patten to adapt Clavell’s Shogun, which follows marooned Englishman John Blackthorne as he is thrust into 17th century Japan, and must negotiate the foreign culture and customs.
Marks, who wrote the Disney live-action Jungle Book, penned the first two episodes of the new retelling of Shogun and heads a writing team that also includes co-executive producer Shannon Goss, consulting producer Matt Lambert, script editor Maegan Houang and staff writer Emily Yoshida. FX had been employing cultural consultants to help with the scripts, according to Deadline.
The series has been in development at FX for quite some time, and was even deep into pre-production last year, before FX put the limited series on hold. Marks was brought on as writer and executive producer in January 2020 with a targeted production start date in Japan in the summer, but then the pandemic hit. But the series seems to be going forward with Marks and Kondo still attached.
After Englishman John Blackthorne is lost at sea, he awakens in a place few Europeans know of and even fewer have seen–Nippon. Thrust into the closed society that is seventeenth-century Japan, a land where the line between life and death is razor-thin, Blackthorne must negotiate not only a foreign people, with unknown customs and language, but also his own definitions of morality, truth, and freedom. As internal political strife and a clash of cultures lead to seemingly inevitable conflict, Blackthorne’s loyalty and strength of character are tested by both passion and loss, and he is torn between two worlds that will each be forever changed.
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