Common To Star In Starz Series ‘Black Samurai’
Common is taking his talents to Starz. The 45-year-old rapper/actor is teaming up with the premium cable network, along with RZA and Jerry Bruckheimer to develop Marc Olden’s book series Black Samurai as a scripted TV series. Common will star and executive produce with RZA and Bruckheimer.
The drama follows 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.
Common shares in a statement,
I’m beyond excited about Black Samurai. This is a unique and special project that offers something rarely seen in art and culture today. 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!
The potential series will be updated from the original novels and subsequent 1977 blaxploitation film that starred Jim Kelly. The drama will be a mashup of the spy and martial arts genres and infused with the heart, soul and music of Common and the Wu-Tang Clan, creating a modern-day international action star.
Common won the 2015 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the 2015 Academy Award for Best Original Song, for his song “Glory” from the 2014 film Selma, in which he co-starred as Civil Rights Movement leader James Bevel. Common’s acting career also includes starring significant roles in the films Smokin’ Aces, Street Kings, American Gangster, Wanted, Terminator Salvation, Date Night, Just Wright, Happy Feet Two, New Year’s Eve, Run All Night, Being Charlie, and John Wick: Chapter 2. He also narrated the award-winning documentary Bouncing Cats, about one man’s efforts to improve the lives of children in Uganda through hip-hop/b-boy culture. He starred as Elam Ferguson on the AMC western television series Hell on Wheels.