Common is set to star in a television adaptation of “Black Samurai,” Variety has learned exclusively.
The TV project, currently in development, is based on Marc Olden’s 1974 book series, which inspired the 1977 film of the same name. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA is attached as an exec producer.
Producers are currently shopping the project. Once a network is attached, the search for a writer and director will begin. With Common attached to star, the hot project is already garnering much interest.
“Black Samurai” follows the story of Robert Sand (played by Common) who is rescued by a Japanese samurai master and trained for seven years. After suffering from vicious racism in the military, and seeing his teacher and fellow samurai killed before his eyes by terrorists, Robert Sand becomes a killing machine, out to destroy the corrupt powers who had taken the lives of his friends.
Producer Andre Gaines landed the rights to the book, and is exec producing the potential series, marking the first television show to be developed under his Cinemation banner.
“Robert Sand is like the black Jason Bourne. Black Samurai is one of the most unique, timely and fun experiences I’ve ever read, while at the same time tackling some serious subjects around race and diversity,” said Gaines. “With ‘John Wick 2’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ coming up, Common was an obvious choice for the role, and I’m thrilled to have him on board. I believe he’s the next great American actor.”
Along with Gaines and RZA, Wu Films’ Mitchell Diggs and Diane Crafford are also exec producing.
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SOURCE: Variety – Elizabeth Wagmeister