Common will also serve as an executive producer via his Freedom Road Productions while RZA, and Mitchell Diggs, will be under their Wu Films banner.
The series will be based on the Black Samurai novels by Marc Olden. According to Starz, “the series will follow the character of 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.”
“I’m beyond excited about ‘Black Samurai,’ said Common via a press statement. “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 series, being touted as a mix of martial arts and spy genres, will also feature Common and Wu-Tang music, for cultural purposes.
Says RZA, “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.”
The pilot is being written by showrunners Cormac and Marianne Wibberley (National Treasure, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Bad Boys II).