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James Clavell's Shogun and The People v OJ Simpson being developed for TV


Story by Jack Foley

JAMES Clavell’s epic novel Shogun and Jeffrey Toobin’s best-seller The Run of His Life: The People v OJ Simpson are being adapted for television by Fox.

In a dual announcement, the channel revealed that The Social Network‘s Michael De Luca and Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) are in the process of adapting Shogun, while The Hunger Games‘ Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson (World War Z) are working on the OJ Simpson series.

The former is based on the 1975 best-seller by Clavell which explored 17th Century Japan from the perspective of a British hero named John Blackthorne, a sailor who rises from outsider to samurai while being used as a pawn in Japanese leader Toranaga’s struggle to reach the top of the ruling chain.

The book has previously been adapted by NBC into an Emmy-winning 1980 mini-series starring Richard Chamberlain as Blackthorne.

The OJ Simpson project will follow the so-called “trial of the century”, which began when the former football star fled from police and concluded with his murder trial in 1994 for the alleged killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

Golden Globe winners Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People vs. Larry Flint) are writing the project.

The two new projects follow the announcement that Fox is also developing Blood Brothers, from Bruce C. McKenna (of Band of Brothers fame) and Wayward Pines, from M. Night Shyamalan and Chad Hodge.

Of Shogun and OJ Simpson, Shana Waterman, senior vp event series and multi-platform programming at Fox, commented: “These are both epic stories – one fiction, one fact – that have captivated millions of people worldwide. They’re riveting and emotional, with unique historic backdrops that lend themselves to the high-quality, dramatic event series we’re looking to make.

“We’re ecstatic to have feature talent like Michael De Luca, Nigel Williams, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson working to bring these stories to life at Fox.”

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