Clint Eastwood made his mark in the seminal Western A Fistful of Dollars, and now that property is headed for the small screen.
Last week, it was announced that a television series based on Rashomon would be coming to HBO Max. This week, it has been unveiled that yet another project based on an Akira Kurosawa film is currently in production.
Deadline is reporting that A Fistful of Dollars, the Sergio Leone-directed spaghetti Western that made Clint Eastwood a household name, is being adapted by Mark Gordon Pictures. A Fistful of Dollars was the beginning of Leone’s trilogy, following Clint Eastwood’s The Man With No Name, which was followed by For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
A Fistful of Dollars, released in 1964, was an unofficial remake of Kurosawa’s 1961 samurai classic, Yojimbo. Toho, the studio who produced Yojimbo, sued because of the unauthorized remake, which delayed A Fistful of Dollars’ American release and was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Kurosawa’s Yojimbo also had its own sequel, 1962’s Sanjuro.
In A Fistful of Dollars, The Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood) comes to the village of San Miguel, which is in the middle of a power struggle between sheriff John Baxter and the three Rojo brothers. The Man With No Name proceeds to play both sides of this entanglement, not only for his own benefit but for the good of the town. According to Deadline, this remake will be a modern take on this story, pulling some elements from the source material.
Mark Gordon has been a substantial producer for decades, listed as executive producer for such television series as Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, and Ray Donovan. Gordon also produced films like 2015’s Steve Jobs, 1998’s Steven Spielberg-directed Saving Private Ryan, and 1994’s Speed. Currently, Gordon has plenty on his plate, including several upcoming projects in the Chronicles of Narnia universe, Murder on the Orient Express sequel Death on the Nile, and a Street Fighter TV mini-series.
A Fistful of Dollars is rumored to be adapted by Bryan Cogman. Most notably, Cogman worked as a writer and story editor for Game of Thrones. Cogman’s upcoming projects include working as a writer and consulting producer on Amazon’s upcoming The Lord of the Rings television series and has been announced as the writer for Disney’s live-action remake of The Sword in the Stone. Cogman clearly already has a history of working within well-known and beloved franchises, so he might be just the right fit to adapt this seminal Leone film.
While it’s not clear what network or streaming service this A Fistful of Dollars adaptation is being created for, the recently announced Rashomon series is in development at HBO Max. The series is also a modern retelling of a Kurosawa story, and will not be a direct adaptation. Rashomon is being adapted by Billy Ray, who most recently wrote The Comey Rule and Mudbound writer Virgil Williams. The television landscape seems like it’s about to be flooded with Kurosawa-based projects, but there are few filmmakers that are better inspirations than Kurosawa and Leone.