Starz is teaming up with Common to develop a new action-drama program based on Marc Olden’s 1975 Black Samurai book series. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and CSI’s Jerry Bruckheimer will be executive producing, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Currently under development, the drama will follow Robert Sand (Common), a highly skilled American Army Ranger whose life is completely altered after meeting a legendary Japanese master who invites him to train as a samurai. After his cherished sensei and samurai brothers are both killed by warriors, Sand goes on an international journey of both revenge and self-discovery.
Black Samurai will mark Common’s return to the small screen.
“This is a unique and special project that offers
something rarely seen in art and culture today.”
“I’m beyond excited about Black Samurai,” said Common. “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!”
“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,” said RZA. “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.”
Starz has often been successful in scripted originals targeting underrepresented viewers, such as with Power and Survivor’s Remorse.