Chadwick Boseman To Star In ‘Yasuke’, Playing 1st African Samurai In Japan
Chadwick Boseman will play Yasuke, the first African samurai to swing a sword in Japan. The 41-year-old actor says about the role,
“The legend of Yasuke is one of history’s best kept secrets, the only person of non-Asian origin to become a Samurai. That’s not just an action movie, that’s a cultural event, an exchange, and I am excited to be part of it.”
Yasuke was a native of Portuguese Mozambique who was brought to Japan as a slave to Jesuit missionaries. The first black man to set foot on Japanese soil, Yasuke’s arrival aroused the interest of Nobunaga, a ruthless warlord seeking to unite the fractured country under his banner. A complex relationship developed between the two men as Yasuke earned Nobunaga’s friendship, respect — and ultimately, the honor, swords and title of samurai.
Chadwick is known for his portrayals of real-life historical figures such as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014) and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017) and for his portrayal of the superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Captain America: Civil War (2016), Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War (both 2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Boseman has also had roles in the television series Lincoln Heights (2008) and Persons Unknown (2010) and the films The Express (2008), Draft Day (2014) and Message from the King (2016).
Boseman also will continue his role as Black Panther in a sequel to the film franchise directed by Ryan Coogler.