Although Cary Joji Fukunaga is at work on Bond 25, he’s not leaving TV behind completely. After directing Maniac and the first season of True Detective as well as developing The Alienist, he’s now teaming up with Watchmen director Nicole Kassell for a new adaptation of The Last of the Mohicans. James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel is the second the Leatherstocking Tales pentalogy and is set in 1757 during the French and Indian War (aka The Seven Years’ War). The story follows “the unlikely romance between Uncas, a young Mohican, and Cora, the mixed-race daughter of a British colonel.” Fukunaga co-wrote the script with Nicholas Osborne and Kassell will direct. The project is in development at Paramount Television.
“The clash of civilizations during the Seven Years War, which frames the story of Last of the Mohicans, has been a long-time passion of mine,” Fukunaga told Deadline. “It was a world war before the term even existed. The opportunity to recreate the story’s strong-willed and free-thinking characters, with talents including Nick Osborne and Nicole Kassell, is incredibly exciting to me. Together with Paramount TV and Anonymous Content, we have the chance to revive the forgotten ancestors that define American identity today.”
“I am profoundly excited to be a part of this extraordinary team and to be bringing a new light and perspective to this period in our history,” Kassell said. “While the James Fenimore Cooper book and original film leave large shoes to fill, Nick and Cary’s script is a riveting read and fresh take. They embrace this incredible opportunity to show and explore characters so often marginalized. To echo a sentiment Nick expressed to me in our first conversation ‘certain stories are timeless vessels that allow different generations to look at it and explore them in different ways.’ To be a part of bringing these eyes and hearts to the screen is the opportunity of a lifetime for me.”
I’m curious to see if The Last of the Mohicans will be a limited series focusing just on this novel or, if the series is a hit, they’ll try to adapt the other book in the Leatherstocking series—The Deerslayer, The Pathfinder, The Pioneers, and The Prairie. However they go about it, I think enough time has passed since Michael Mann’s acclaimed 1992 adaptation for a new take on Mohicans, especially since the novel was adapted eight times before Mann took it on.