EXCLUSIVE: Westbrook by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Studios has acquired worldwide rights to the Japanese series We can’t work together and is developing an English-language remake of the project in partnership with Japanese company Akimoto Project as part of a strategic alliance.
The relationship comedy will follow a Hollywood “it couple” who have refused to work together since their split 20 years ago. Hoping to revive their careers, they team up on a big-budget TV series that forces them to put aside their animosity for one last chance to prove their relevance in an industry poised to write them off. The project is Westbrook’s first outside of Asia.
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Terence Carter and David Boorstein will produce the series for Westbrook Studios, which will serve as a studio. Yasushi Akimoto will also serve as executive producer. Westbrook He is said to be exploring creative avenues and “high-level talent” to bring together the two lead roles.
The original Japanese series was created and written by renowned Japanese music, film and television producer Akimoto. The show first aired on TV Tokyo from October to December 2020, making headlines for breaking industry standards in Japan by sponsoring it by two rival companies in the same time slot, which which is considered taboo.
Lyricist Akimoto, known as the creator of the hit girl group AKB48 franchise, has written over 4,300 songs, sold 150 million CD singles and over 200 songs have reached number 1. He is also a novelist.
“It’s the perfect show for Westbrookthe first foray into the market for Asian television formats – talent-driven comedy steeped in heartwarming romance,” said Carter, Westbrook Co-president of studios, responsible for television. “Yasushi has created a local hit that has universal appeal, and we couldn’t be more excited to team up with our partners at Akimoto to recreate this show for a global audience.”
Music and TV producer Yasushi Akimoto added, “We all know there can be challenges when working with people you don’t get along with or who you may have had a difficult relationship with in the past. And these challenges affect not only you, but also the people around you. In this series, we chose to find the humor in these moments and explore the real, authentic comedy that unfolds because of complex and sometimes volatile human relationships. It’s a universal experience and I’m thrilled to be associated with Westbrook to elevate this story even further and bring it to viewers around the world.
Westbrook’s TV projects include the second season of BelAir, the will smith reboot The prince of Bel-Air; Netflix’s six-part docuseries Edit: The Fight for America and season 4 of Cobra Kai; and Welcome to Earth with National Geographic.
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