FX Networks Developing Dramatic Series About Benihana Founder Hiroaki ‘Rocky’ Aoki From Jon M. Chu And Steve Aoki | Shore Fire Media

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8 June, 2022Print

FX Networks Developing Dramatic Series About Benihana Founder Hiroaki ‘Rocky’ Aoki From Jon M. Chu And Steve Aoki

FX Networks Developing Dramatic Series About Benihana Founder Hiroaki ‘Rocky’ Aoki From Jon M. Chu And Steve Aoki

June 8, 2022 — FX Networks is developing “American Hiro,” a dramatic series that chronicles the life and family of Hiroaki “Rocky” Aoki, the legendary entrepreneur and original daredevil businessman who in 1964, as a recent American immigrant, created Benihana Inc., the first American restaurant empire of foreign cuisine. The series chronicles Rocky’s larger-than-life exploits as an Olympic wrestler, professional speed boat racer, hot air balloonist, and nightclub impresario, while examining his complicated relationships with his wife, parents, children, and, perhaps most of all, his cultural identity, reconciling his Japanese heritage with his outsized American dreams.

The project hails from director Jon M. Chu, who is executive producing with Caitlin Fiotoon behalf of Electric Somewhere, alongside musician and executive producer Steve Aoki. They are joined by writer/creator Jonathan Abrams, who will also executive produce. 20th Century Studios is producing for FX.

The series is based in part on the book Making It in America: The Life and Times of Rocky Aoki, by Jack McCallum.

“I don’t think I could be more grateful and excited to team up with my friend, the legend Jon Chu, to tell the story of my dad Rocky,” said Steve Aoki. “I have spent years dreaming of the day when I get to properly share my dad's incredible life with the world. He is my hero and inspired me to live my own life to the fullest.”

The project also has the support of the wider Aoki family, including Devon Aoki, who will also serve as executive producer.

Chu’s Electric Somewhere Co. will produce alongside Five All in the Fifth Entertainment, which originated the project. Five All’s Douglas Banker, Electric Somewhere’s Caitlin Foito, and YMU Group’s Matt Colon and Dougie Bohay, managers for Steve Aoki, will all executive produce. 


About Steve Aoki

Counting nearly 4 billion music streams to his name, Steve Aoki is a two-time Grammy-nominated artist/DJ/producer and the founder of Dim Mak Records. Called “one of the most in-demand entertainers in the world” by Billboard, Aoki’s cross-genre discography includes seven studio albums and collaborations with Lil Uzi Vert, Maluma, BTS, Linkin Park, and Louis Tomlinson, among others. In 1996, he established Dim Mak, a trendsetting record label, events/lifestyle company and apparel brand, out of his college dorm room. It has served as a launching pad for global acts like The Chainsmokers, Bloc Party, The Bloody Beetroots, and The Kills, in addition to being the home of early releases from acts such as ZEDD and Diplo. As a nightlife impresario, Aoki’s legendary Hollywood club night Dim Mak Tuesdays hosted early performances from future superstars such as Kid Cudi, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, and Travis Scott. Steve Aoki is also a fashion designer, author, and entrepreneur. Aoki’s multi-faceted journey is chronicled through the Grammy-nominated Netflix documentary I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (2016) and his memoir BLUE: The Color of Noise (2019). In 2012, he founded THE AOKI FOUNDATION, which primarily supports organizations in the field of brain science research with a specific focus on regenerative medicine and brain preservation.


About Jonathan Abrams

Jonathan Abrams is a film and television writer/producer and theatrical book writer. He most recently wrote a movie for Fox 2000 inspired by tennis star Genie Bouchard’s famous “Super Bowl” bet and as well as original idea, Diplomats, for 20th Century Fox. In television, he most recently wrote the telefilm Snowed for Universal Television and NBC and has also sold drama pilots to A&E, FOX, ABC, NBC, and The CW. His original stage musical The Heart of Rock N’ Roll, inspired by the song catalog of Huey Lewis & the News, enjoyed a record-breaking run at The Old Globe Theater in San Diego. He is represented by Michael Lasker at Mosaic and McKuin, Frankel and Whitehead LLP. 


About Five All in the Fifth Entertainment

Co-founded by Douglas Banker and Alex Garinger, Five All in the Fifth Entertainment is an award-winning production company that specializes in telling authentic stories about the most provocative characters in pop culture, entertainment, sports, and more. Five All’s documentary film, Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James, premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival and on Showtime, and was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Music Documentary. The company has produced three ESPN 30 for 30 films: LANCE, about Lance Armstrong, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and Rodman: For Better or Worse, about Dennis Rodman. Its six-part YouTube Originals docuseries, Defying Gravity: The Untold Story of Women’s Gymnastics, won the 2021 Producers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Sports Program and was nominated for a 2021 Sports Emmy Award. Five All has scripted television projects in the works at Netflix, Fox, and Showtime. Its feature film The After Party premiered on Netflix in 2018. Five All is represented by UTA and Morris Yorn.



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