‘Shogun’ Won’t ‘Fetishize’ Japanese Culture Through ‘Western Eyes and Male Gaze,’ FX Promises

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FX will not be “exoticizing” Japanese culture in its upcoming limited series “Shogun,” the network’s CEO John Landgraf assured reporters during the Television Critics Association press tour Friday.

“I referenced, I think, in my comments that 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,” Landgraf said when asked how the show would avoid “exoticizing” feudal Japan, in comparison to the ’80s miniseries adaptation starring Richard Chamberlain. “And there’s a lot of really fun and fascinating work going on to try to balance the story out and tell it from both points of view.”

The 10-episode series “Shogun” is based on James Clavell’s novel of the same name. Set in feudal Japan in the early 17th century, the story follows a mysterious female samurai and the shipwrecked English sailor John Blackthorne. Other key characters include 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.

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“I’m learning and understanding things about feudal Japanese culture and religion that I never knew before,” Landgraf continued. “And we’re also casting — I mean we haven’t even announced the cast yet — but we’re casting really, really wonderful Japanese cultures. But I agree with your assessment that if you sort of just exoticized and fetishize Japanese culture through the Western eyes and male gaze, it would probably not fly. But I think there is an exciting opportunity to tell the collision of two cultures from both perspectives in a way that wasn’t done before.”

Prior to fielding that question during the Q&A portion of his executive session, Landgraf said, “the story of ‘Shōgun’ has captivated audiences since James Clavell first released his epic novel more than 40 years ago. The themes of an outsider encountering a new culture are as relevant today as then.”

Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA TV will executive produce with Michael De Luca, Michaela Clavell and director Tim Van Patten, Eugene Kelly and Ronan Bennett, who will write the series. Rachel Bennette will serve as supervising producer, and Tom Winchester from DNA TV will serve as producer. Georgina Pope will serve as co-producer and Eriko Miyagawa will serve as associate producer. “Shogun” will be shot in Japan and the UK, produced by FX Productions.

Read about what Landgraf had to say about the “Gilded Age of Television” during TCA here.

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FX Greenlights 2 New Limited Series: ‘Devs’ With Nick Offerman and ‘Shogun’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

FX has greenlit two new limited series, “Shogun” and “Devs,” the cable channel announced during the Television Critics Association summer 2018 press tour Friday.

The 10-episode series “Shogun” is based on James Clavell’s novel of the same name. Set in feudal Japan, the story follows a mysterious female samurai and the shipwrecked English sailor John Blackthorne. Other key characters include 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 story of Shōgun has captivated audiences since James Clavell first released his epic novel more than 40 years ago,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said. “The themes of an outsider encountering a new culture are as relevant today as then.”

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Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA TV will executive produce with Michael De Luca, Michaela Clavell and director Tim Van Patten, Eugene Kelly and Ronan Bennett, who will write the series. Rachel Bennette will serve as supervising producer, and Tom Winchester from DNA TV will serve as producer. Georgina Pope will serve as co-producer and Eriko Miyagawa will serve as associate producer. “Shogun” will be shot in Japan and the UK, produced by FX Productions.

The eight-episode limited series “Devs” stars Nick Offerman, Sonoya Mizuno, Jin Ha, Zach Grenier, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Cailee Spaeny and Alison Pill in a story about a San Francisco tech company murder mystery.

The series is expected to air in 2019 and comes from writer/director Alex Garland, who will executive produce with Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA TV, Eli Bush and Scott Rudin (who he worked with on “Annihilation” and “Ex Machina”). “Devs” will be produced by FX Productions.

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“After reading all 8 scripts and hearing Alex’s brilliant vision and commitment to direct all of the episodes, it was an easy decision to order Devs to series,” Landgraf said. “Alex is a visionary artist who with his partners has put together a stellar cast.  We are grateful to Alex, Andrew, Allon, Scott, Eli and the brilliant casting team led by Carmen Cuba.”

Check out the cast’s character descriptions below:

Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina, Maniac, Crazy Rich Asians) will play “Lily Chan.” Lily is a software engineer who works at Amaya, a cutting-edge tech company, and comes to suspect her employer may be responsible for the death of her boyfriend.

Nick Offerman (Fargo, Parks and Recreation, Hearts Beat Loud) will play “Forest.” Forest is the CEO of Amaya, whose obsession is the covert work of the company’s development division.

Jin Ha (Jesus Christ Superstar Live) will play “Jamie,” a gifted cybersecurity specialist, who is Lily’s former boyfriend.

Zach Grenier (The Good Wife, Deadwood) will play “Kenton.” Terse, dry and dangerous, Kenton is the head of security at Amaya.

Stephen McKinley Henderson (Ladybird, Fences, Manchester by the Sea) will play “Stewart.” Stewart is a cultured intellectual from another era and one of the top technical minds working in Amaya’s secret development division.

Cailee Spaeny (Bad Times at the El Royale, On the Basis of Sex, Pacific Rim: Uprising) will play “Lyndon,” a young, brilliant, and stubborn employee who works in Amaya’s secret development division.

Alison Pill (American Horror Story: Cult, Snowpiercer, The Newsroom) will play “Katie.” Katie is a gifted
quantum physicist tapped by Forest to be his second in command at Amaya.

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