Filming has begun this week on the BBC and Netflix’s new thriller, Giri/Haji, and we’ve got our first look at the show’s impressive cast.
Takehiro Hira (Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai), BAFTA and Emmy award winner Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire, Puzzle), Japanese Academy award winner Yosuke Kubosuka (Go, Silence), BAFTA nominated Will Sharpe (Flowers), Japanese Academy Award winner Masahiro Motoki (Departures), Justin Long (New Girl) and Charlie Creed-Miles (Ripper Street) will star in the ambitious, global drama.
Written by BAFTA nominee Joe Barton (Humans), the production balances an exceptional array of Japanese talent alongside an acclaimed cast from UK film and TV. The drama will play out across eight episodes in both Japanese and English – the title translates as “Duty/Shame” – as the action moves between London and Tokyo, traversing the narrative’s multiple time frames.
The series explores the butterfly effect of one murder over the two cities, with Hira and Kubozuka leading the Japanese cast. They play Kenzo (Hira) and Yuto (Kubozuka), once devoted and now estranged brothers, driven to opposite sides of the world by the spiralling consequences of one violent split-second decision. They are joined by Masahiro Motoki, Yuko Nakamura, Aoi Okuyama, Mitsuko Oka, Togo Igawa, Katsuya and Yoshiki Minato. The UK cast sees Macdonald, Long, Sharpe, Creed-Miles and Tony Pitts (Jamestown, Peaky Blinders) line up across a bitter divide, as the ramifications of the murder erupt across the globe from London to Toyko.
Kenzo (Hira), a Tokyo detective and family man, is abruptly dispatched to London by his superiors in the police department to search for his missing younger brother Yuto (Kubosuka), the honour of his family at stake. Arriving, he becomes drawn into the shadowy world of Abbott (Creed-Miles) and Vickers (Long), a once lucrative business partnership now under threat, as the former looks now to the East to expand his empire. Distant from everything familiar to him, Kenzo unexpectedly finds hope in a remarkable makeshift family of Londoners, each in turn confronting the tumultuous, spiralling effects of fateful past decisions. Among them is charismatic rent boy Rodney (Sharpe) and Sarah (Macdonald), a Met detective investigating the London murder, who begins to present a delicate threat to Kenzo’s marriage.
Commissioned by Netflix and Piers Wenger and Charlotte Moore for BBC, the 8×60’ is directed by Julian Farino and produced by Jane Featherstone’s Sister Pictures (The Split, Broadchurch, Cleaning Up). It is created and written by Joe Barton (Humans), is executive produced by Jane Featherstone (The Split, Utopia, Broadchurch, Humans) and Chris Fry (Humans, The Smoke) and Joe Barton for Sister Pictures, Ben Irving for BBC TWO and produced by Susie Liggat.
Barton says: “Developing this show with Sister Pictures, Netflix, and the BBC has been an amazing creative experience and now I’m incredibly excited to see it come to life with such a diverse and brilliant cast and crew. They’re all ridiculously talented which has the added bonus of making me look better. Which was my goal all along, frankly.”
Featherstone adds: “Joe is an amazing talent and I am thrilled to be working with him at Sister on this series which plays with genre in such a sophisticated way. In Giri/Haji he has created gripping, truly rule-breaking scripts, visually and narratively rich, and when paired with this extraordinary ensemble cast and Julian’s beautiful direction, they will, I believe, result in something pretty fabulous.”
Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content at Netflix, comments: “Giri/Haji is a unique series that crosses cultures in a way that we think will appeal to Netflix members around the world. We’re excited to partner with Joe and Julian, and to see their combined vision come to life on screen.”
Giri/Haji will make its world premiere on BBC Two and Netflix will stream the series globally outside of the UK.
BBC and Netflix team up for Giri/Haji
5th May 2017
The BBC and Netflix are teaming up once again for new drama Giri/Haji.
The UK broadcaster, which is placing a growing emphasis on its original drama output, is no stranger to the streaming service, with Netflix having snapped up the international rights to series such as The Last Kingdom. Now, as Piers Wenger, the recently-appointed Controller of BBC Drama, unveils his new commissioning team and slate of programmes (which includes a three-part version of Little Women and Stephen Frears’ A Very English Scandal), the BBC is once again uniting with the online service for a co-production.
The eight-episode series, which translates to 義理/恥 or Duty/Shame, is created by Joe Barton, the writer of the BAFTA-winning Our World War and Humans. It follows a middle-aged Tokyo detective (Kenzo) who travels to London in search of his wayward younger brother (Yuto). Once thought dead, Yuto is now believed to be posing as a Yakuza gangster in London and wanted for the murder of a Japanese businessman there.
With the help of a young Japanese-British hustler, who helps the detective navigate London, the mystery continues to unravel. His family’s honour, and the fragile peace between the warring gangs back in Tokyo, is at stake.
Giri/Haji was commissioned by Wenger and Charlotte Moore for BBC One, and Elizabeth Bradley and Alex Sapot for Netflix, and is a Sister Pictures production. The Executive Producers are Jane Featherstone, Chris Fry and Joe Barton for Sister Pictures, and Wenger for the BBC. Giri/Haji will premiere on BBC One and Netflix will stream the series globally outside of the UK.