Rashomon is one of Akira Kurosawa’s best films in a career filled with masterpieces. For those unfamiliar with the 1950 film, the story revolves around the rape of a bride and her samurai husband by a bandit. However, the twist of Rashomon is that every perspective of the incident is different. The investigators interview the bride, the bandit, the ghost of the samurai (through a spirit medium), and we later see the perspective of a woodcutter who claimed to witness the events. The film is a defining work on perspective and memory as it comes to some bleak conclusions on the ability to obtain any objective truth.
The concept of Rashomon has been used countless times since with different characters providing different viewpoints on the same event, but now Amblin Entertainment is going to do a direct adaptation. They tweeted out that they’ve acquired the rights to Rashomon and plan to turn it into a dramatic mystery thriller series:
Amblin Television announced today that it has optioned the rights to RASHOMON, Akira Kurosawa’s groundbreaking, iconic film as the basis for a new dramatic mystery thriller series. More facts to come!
— Amblin (@amblin) December 18, 2018
Which is fine, I guess. You don’t really need to do an adaptation of Rashomon to do the Rashomon concept since the hook of the film is its storytelling technique rather than the specific narrative. Resetting the film to a dramatic mystery thriller series is fine, but I’m not sure how that will be any different from a special episode of any other show that’s done this approach. But if it encourages more people to go out and watch Rashomon, then I’m all for it.
Check out the trailer for 2009 American re-release of Rashomon below. The film is currently available in the Criterion Collection and presumably will be part of Criterion’s streaming service, which is set to launch in spring 2019.