FX tends to immerse itself in worlds and takes no shortcuts on the road(s) to authenticity. The network, in conjunction with streaming partner Hulu, has recently given us the hilariously heartbreaking Reservation Dogs, the pleasurable pressure cooker of The Bear, and the cowboy swagger of Justified: City Primeval. Now, viewers are invited to dive into historical-epic territory with a big swing into a Shōgun adaptation.
Every one of the above original offerings arrives in addition to the next-day streaming Hulu feature for loads of non-FX TV shows and movies, and then there’s the Live TV option, so Hulu almost has too much to offer. For the moment, however, we will discuss what to expect from Shōgun, which will be adapted for the first time since a 1980s miniseries. FX has fully engaged in intricate world building, as we will see in the below videos.
This limited series will infuse stunning visuals into adapting James Clavell’s renowned 1975 novel, which unfurls the first chronological part of his Asian Saga. As this behind-the-scenes featurette shows, no attention to visual detail has been spared, including that pivotal shipwreck. Eek.
The expansive story follows the outbreak of a 1600s civil war and also revolves around the accounts of an English ship captain, John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis), whose shop becomes marooned, which is the first step in him becoming pivotal in the conflict, particularly on the side of Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada), whose rule has been dragged into chaos by an opposing Council of Regents (i.e., “vultures”). However, Blackthorne and Toranaga must rely upon a translator, Toda Mariko (Anna Sawai), who is no mere impartial party.
Expect to see her struggling to serve both men while also juggling competing interests. After all, Blackthorne has his own enemies, and their connection complicates matters. Additionally, Toda also hails from a disgraced family and aims to maintain her relatively newfound status as a Christian noblewoman. Betrayal, competing alliances, and possible diversions involving courtesans will also abound from corners of the story.
The production encompasses a gathering of acclaimed Japanese talent. In addition to Hiroyuki Sanada as Lord Yoshii Toranaga, Cosmo Jarvis will portray John Blackthorne. Likewise, Anna Sawai steps in as translator Toda Mariko along with Moeka Hoshi as Usami Fuji, Tokuma Nishioka as Toda Hiromatsu, Yuka Kouri as Kiku, and Fumi Nikaido as Ochiba.
This limited series will surface on February 27 with two episodes airing on FX (and next-day on Hulu). From there, we can expect a total of 10 episodes to drop on Tuesday mights. The show will also be available to stream on Disney+ with Star+ being the Latin America streamer.
Get ready to grow acquainted with a level of wartime maneuvering that we seldom see onscreen, even with every World War II take that continues to arrive on an annual basis. Ladies and gents, this is a straight-up trailer: