Common Cast In Starz’ ‘Black Samurai’ From Creator RZA

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Rapper-Turned-Actor Common To Star In The New Black Samurai

After his role on AMC’s Hell on Wheels, Academy Award-winning rapper Common is making his way back to the small screen. This time, with the help of RZA and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Starz is adapting Marc Olden’s book series, Black Samurai, as a scripted TV series, with Common to star as the lead and RZA and Bruckheimer executive producing.

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The story will follow Robert Sand, an American Army Ranger, who meets a legendary Japanese master who invites him to train as a samurai. Following the deaths of his sensei and samurai brothers by mercenaries, Sand is determined to trek the world seeking revenge. Some of you may remember the old 1977 blaxploitation film starring Jim Kelly, of the same name. Well, this series will be updated from that film, as well as the original novels.

“We cannot wait for the world to meet Robert Sand — part Jason Bourne, part James Bond, and one hundred percent the hero we need today. Black Samurai promises to be an action-packed ride. 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 expressed. “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!”

Starz says that the series will be a combination of spy and martial arts genres, infused with the music of Common, as well as the Wu-Tang Clan.

“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 boasted.

Common will not only star but will also serve as an executive producer through his Freedom Road Productions banner.

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Starz, Common, RZA, and Andre Gaines on Black Samurai,” Bruckheimer stated, with much joy. “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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