FX’s limited ‘Shogun’ series adds Anna Sawai in lead role


Anna Sawai to star in FX’s ‘Shogun’ series (Photo credit: Akina Chan)

Anna Sawai (F9: The final saga) joined the cast of FX’s Shogun and will assume the role of Lady Mariko. The character of Sawai is one of the three protagonists of the limited series, along with Hiroyuki Sanada (Mortal combat) with Yoshii Toranaga and Cosmo Jarvis (Raised by wolves) has confirmed playing John Blackthorne.

The network reports that filming is now underway in Vancouver on the 10-episode limited series based on the best-selling novel written by James Clavell and released in 1975. Clavell’s novel has already been adapted into an Emmy-winning miniseries. Awards with Richard Chamberlain, Yôko Shimada and Shōgun Toshirô Mifune in the 80s.

The cast of the FX adaptation will include Tadanobu Asano, Fumi Nikaido, Tokuma Nishioka, Takehiro Hira, Ako, Shinnosuke Abe, Yasunari Takeshima and Hiroto Kanai. Also on the bill are Toshi Toda, Hiro Kanagawa, Nestor Carbonell, Yuki Kura, Tommy Bastow, Moeka Hoshi, Yoriko Doguchi and Yuka Kouri.

Jonathan van Tulleken (Reprisals) is on board to direct the first two episodes of the series. Justin Marks, Michaela Clavell, Michael de Luca and Ed McDonnell are executive producers, Marks writing episodes one and two with co-executive producer Rachel Kondo. The series is produced by FX Productions.

Plot and key characters, courtesy of FX:

Shogun, set in feudal Japan, traces the collision of two ambitious men from different worlds and a mysterious female samurai. John Blackthorne, an English pilot taking risks, ends up wrecking in Japan, a land whose unknown culture will eventually redefine it. Lord Toranaga, a shrewd and powerful daimyo, is at odds with his own dangerous political rivals. And Lady Mariko, a woman of invaluable skills but dishonorable family ties, must prove her worth and her allegiance.

Anna Sawai is set to play the role of “Lady Mariko”, the revered daughter of an infamous samurai traitor, whom Toranaga enlists to avenge her father’s death.

Hiroyuki Sanada will play “Yoshii Toranaga”, a living legend. A powerful daimyo from a feared lineage, isolated and outnumbered by his enemies in Osaka Castle early in the story. But no one realizes that Toranaga is a brilliant strategist, a master of the long game, and the holder of Japan’s ultimate fate.

Cosmo Jarvis will play “John Blackthorne”, a restless English pilot in search of a destiny far from the world he was born into. Its mission is to make its way through the Pacific Islands and disrupt Portuguese and Spanish interests in Japan. But Blackthorne finds more than he expected when his ship runs aground in the territory of Toranaga, a deadly warlord who becomes his captor and spiritual mentor.


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