Starz teams up with RZA for Black Samurai series starring Common

black samurai common rza starz
A black samurai isn’t so surprising thanks to the anime miniseries, Afro Samurai, and the ’70s black exploitation film, Black Samurai. The latter is based on the books by Marc Olden, and now Starz and Jerry Bruckheimer Television have announced that it will be updating the source material for the small screen. It will star Common (John Wick 2) under the working title of “Black Samurai.” Common will also serve as the executive producer under his Freedom Road Productions banner along with Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA (Iron Fist, The Man with the Iron Fists) and Mitchell Diggs for Wu Films.

Synopsis: Based on the Black Samurai novels written by Marc Olden, the series will follow the character of Robert Sand (Common), a highly-trained American Army Ranger whose life is transformed when he meets a legendary Japanese master who invites him to train as a samurai. After his beloved sensei and samurai brothers are killed by mercenaries, Sand is thrust on a worldwide journey of both revenge and self-discovery.

The series will feature music from Common and the Wu-Tang Clan and will include elements of the espionage and martial arts genre.

“We cannot wait for the world to meet Robert Sand – part Jason Bourne, part James Bond, and 100% the hero we need today. ‘Black Samurai’ promises to be an action-packed ride and with the Bruckheimer team, Common, RZA and Andre at the helm, we can feel certain this will be exceptional storytelling,” said Carmi Zlotnik, president of programming for Starz.

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Starz, Common, RZA and Andre Gaines on ‘Black Samurai,’” said Bruckheimer. “This incredible creative team will combine all of their talents and experience to bring the classic book series to brand new life with cutting edge artistry, music and imagery.”

“I’m beyond excited about ‘Black Samurai.’ This is a unique and special project that offers something rarely seen in art and culture today,” said Common. “It’s an honor to play the character of Robert Sand and to have my production company, Freedom Road Productions partnering with Jerry Bruckheimer Productions, RZA and Starz to deliver something fresh and new to people. I can’t wait to dig into this character and the martial arts worlds of gun-fu, kung-fu, jujitsu and more. Look out world, ‘Black Samurai’ is coming!”

RZA added, “I’ve been a fan of the Robert Sand character since I was a kid, ‘Black Samurai’ being one of the films that got me into the martial art genre. A chance to combine with Jerry Bruckheimer, Common and Andre Gaines to reintroduce this character to a new generation makes myself and my partner Mitchell Diggs at Wu Films super stoked. With the Wibbs leading the writing team and Starz as our outlet, I’m certain the series will find its fan base.”

Cormac and Marianne Wibberley (National Treasure, Bad Boys II) will be the showrunners for the Black Samurai series, and they will be writing the script for the pilot.

Jerry Bruckheimer will also executive produce along with Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, Freedom Road’s Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone, Diane Crafford, and Andrew Gaines of Cinemation. Jerry Bruckheimer Television’s James Oh will be producing.

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