Everyone has their favorite actors who might not be household names, but every time you see them it’s in a project that you end up enjoying. For me that actor is Hiroyuki Sanada, whether it’s his Japanese films such as Ring, or his blockbuster work in Speed Racer, The Wolverine, and more recently Bullet Train, Mortal Kombat, and John Wick 4. Fans of Sanada will want to keep an eye out for Shōgun, the long-awaited FX event series that finally hits Hulu in February.
Based on the acclaimed 1975 novel by James Clavell, the series is set in Japan in the year 1600, and follows a shrewd daimyo at odds with his political rivals; an Englishman shipwrecked in Japan who becomes influenced by the unfamiliar culture; and a female samurai from a disgraced family line.
Sanada, who is also a producer on the 10-episode series, is joined in the cast by British musician/actor Cosmo Jarvis, and Anna Sawai who will be seen soon in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.
The legendary Toshiro Mifune starred in a previous 1980 series adaptation of Shōgun that won three Primetime Emmy Awards.
Here is the synopsis: FX’s Shōgun, an original adaptation of James Clavell’s bestselling novel, was created for television by Rachel Kondo & Justin Marks. The 10-episode limited series is set in Japan in the year 1600, at the dawn of a century-defining civil war. Producer Hiroyuki Sanada stars as “Lord Yoshii Toranaga,” who is fighting for his life as his enemies on the Council of Regents unite against him. When a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village, its English pilot, “John Blackthorne” (Cosmo Jarvis), comes bearing secrets that could help Toranaga tip the scales of power and devastate the formidable influence of Blackthorne’s own enemies — the Jesuit priests and Portuguese merchants. Toranaga’s and Blackthorne’s fates become inextricably tied to their translator, “Toda Mariko” (Anna Sawai), a mysterious Christian noblewoman and the last of a disgraced line. While serving her lord amidst this fraught political landscape, Mariko must reconcile her newfound companionship with Blackthorne, her commitment to the faith that saved her and her duty to her late father.
Shōgun debuts on Hulu on February 24th.