Common's BLACK SAMURAI Series Lands At STARZ


It was last June that actor Common (John Wick: Chapter Two, AMC's Hell On Wheels) and producer/filmmaker RZA were pairing up with Wu Films to advance their own take on Marc Olden's 1974 novel, Black Samurai. As such, with enough time and effort comes per the succession of milestones, now with word that the show has officially landed at Starz according to trade news broken on Tuesday.

RZA and Jerry Bruckheimer will executive produce the series which succeeds Al Adamson's 1977 Jim Kelly-headlining adaptation of Olden's book. The series will see Common in the role of Robert Sand, a former soldier belaguered by racism, and raised and trained in the samurai arts for seven years by the master who rescued him, only to walk the path of vengeance and self-discovery when he learns of his master's death and that of his beloved samurai brothers.

THR reports the tone of the drama will be treated with a mash-up of martial arts and spy tropes infused with the heart, soul and music of Common and the Wu Tang Clan. Common is also executive producing via his Freedom Road banner next to Derek Dudley, Shelby Stone and Diane Crafford as well as Cinemation's Andre Gaines (Bill Nye: Science Guy) while RZA (The Man With The Iron Fists) and his Wu Films' label with Mitchell Diggs. Bruckheimer will executive produce at JBTV with Jonathan Littman, James Oh and KristieAnne Reed.

Cormac and Marianne Wibberley (National Treasure, Bad Boys II) are penning the script and showrunning once greenlit, with Starz retaining all global distribution and home broadcasing rights.
"We cannot wait for the world to meet Robert Sand — part Jason Bourne, part James Bond, and 100 percent 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,” Starz president of programming Carmi Zlotnik said. 
“I'm beyond excited about Black Samurai. This is a unique and special project that offers something rarely seen in art and culture today,” Common said. “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!" 
"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,” RZA said. 
"We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Starz, Common, RZA and Andre Gaines on Black Samurai,” Bruckheimer said. “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.”

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