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Common To Topline ‘Black Samurai’ Television Adaptation

The story follows Robert Sand after he is rescued by a Japanese samurai master and trains with him for seven years.


A television adaptation of “Black Samurai” is in the works with Common set to star as Robert Sand, Variety confirms.

Based on Marc Olden’s 1974 book series, the story follows Robert after he is rescued by a Japanese samurai master and trains with him for seven years. After he suffers from racism in the military and his teacher is killed in front of him by terrorists, he sets out to seek revenge on the ones who took the lives of his friends.

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The series will be executive produced by Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, Wu Films’ Mitchell Diggs and Diane Crafford and Andre Gaines with his Cinemation banner.

“Robert Sand is like 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, who obtained the rights to the books. “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.”

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Adding, “There is a long tradition and storied relationship between hip-hop and martial arts. Having RZA and the WuTang brand on board to executive produce will validate the series even more and mobilize the fans.”

Last year Common won an Academy Award and Golden Globe, along with John Legend, for their song “Glory” from “Selma.” He is a three-time Grammy winner and was previously seen in “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” “The Wiz Live!” and “Run All Night.” He currently has a slew of projects in production such as “Suicide Squad,” “John Wick: Chapter Two” and the drama “Leavey.”

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