Two new limited series are on the way from FX, as the network announces it has not only officially ordered Devs, from creator, writer, and director Alex Garland, but that it is also developing a remake of Shōgun. The former has been making steady progress for months now, as Garland’s been riding a wave of critical praise following the release of Annihilation earlier this year. The latter, meanwhile, comes as something of a surprise. This would be the second television adaptation of James Clavell’s 1975 best seller of the same name, with the first being a five-hour miniseries starring Richard Chamberlain and Toshirô Mifune that aired on NBC in 1980.
Though Devs seemed like a sure thing when it was first announced, it’s only now that the project has been officially ordered, with Garland in place to write and direct all eight episodes. The series concerns “a young computer engineer, Lily Chan, [who] investigates the secretive development division of her employer, a cutting-edge tech company based in San Francisco, who she believes are behind the murder of her boyfriend.” It stars Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina) as Lily, Nick Offerman (Parks & Rec) as Forest, the head of the company Lily is investigating, and Alison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) as Katie, Forest’s second in command.
Shōgun, meanwhile, will expand on Clavell’s novel and, presumably, the NBC adaptation by offering a 10-episode miniseries that will be directed in part by Emmy winner Tim Van Patten (Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones), with Eugene Kelly (Westworld) and Ronan Bennett (Public Enemies) set to write. For those who are unfamiliar with Clavell’s story, check out the synopsis below:
“Shōgun, set in feudal Japan, charts the collision of two ambitious men from different worlds and a mysterious female samurai: John Blackthorne, a risk-taking English sailor who ends up shipwrecked in Japan, a land whose unfamiliar culture will ultimately redefine him; Lord Toranaga, a shrewd, powerful daimyo, at odds with his own dangerous, political rivals; and Lady Mariko, a woman with invaluable skills but dishonorable family ties, who must prove her value and allegiance.”
The news was announced at FX’s presentation during the 2018 Television Critics Association summer press tour. On hand was FX boss John Landgraf, who, as reported by The Wrap, was quick to address concerns that the new series would “exoticize” Japanese culture by saying, “it’s really told from multiple points of view, not just the singular Western, white male point of view, so it’s told through many Japanese points of view.”
It sounds as though FX and the show’s creators are focused on improving upon the original miniseries, while also remaining true to Clavell’s novel. Though casting has not yet been announced, it will be interesting to see how and through whom the 10-hour story is ultimately told.
Premiere dates for Shōgun or Devs have not yet been announced.
Source: FX Networks, The Wrap