At Monday’s Television Critics Association press tour, FX
CEO John Landgraf
sat down with IndieWire
to discuss the network’s proposed adaptation of “Shogun
,” which was announced six months ago. “It’s daunting, I will say. But James Clavell
tried to do that with a novel, and frankly the source material is absolutely great,” he said. “I think it’s really worth re-adapting by the standards of today.”
“Standards of today” are keywords here. Clavell published “Shogun
” in 1975 to critical acclaim, which led to an equally successful 1980 miniseries starring Richard Chamberlain
as John Blackthorne, a 17th-century English sailor who rises in the ranks in feudal Japan. Period trappings notwithstanding, the whole East-meets-West narrative feels outdated, especially told from the perspective of a white man.
According to Landgraf, the premise will remain the same, but the series will include more Japanese perspectives.
“We’ve supported the producers and the writers in changing the structure,