Common and RZA to Bring ‘Black Samurai’ Reboot to Starz

Starz is tapping Common, RZA, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer with their next big project that will hopefully have the Power effect (and maybe even some of the Survivor’s Remorse effect). This time around, the series in question is a reboot of Black Samurai, a scripted television series based off of the Marc Olden book series.

The TV series will follow Robert Sand (played by 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,” THR reports.

The series will be an updated version and offer a slightly different take on time, compared to the 1977 blaxploitation film and the original novels that started it all. The drama is said to be a hybrid of the spy genre meets the martial arts genre with the music, heart, and soul of Wu-Tang Clan and Common. The end result? An action star with an international update and a millennial appeal.

Common is set to executive produce Black Samurai through Freedom Road Productions, while RZA and Mitchell Diggs will executive produce under the Wu Films moniker. Bruckheimer will also executive produce the series alongside his JBTV crew KristieAnne Reed and Jonathan Littman.

Starz will maintain all home entertainment and global distribution rights to Black Samurai.

“I’m beyond excited about Black Samurai. This is a unique and special project that offers something rarely seen in art and culture today,” Common revealed in a statement. “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!”

Common’s most recent stint on the small screen was in the AMC series Hell on Wheels, which ended in 2014. The rapper is no stranger to acting, but his work in the upcoming Starz series will be his first starring role in a minute.

RZA’s most recent work was a starring role on the Fox show Gang Related and a guest-starring role in the FX drama Snowfall. The Wu-Tang Clan member has been known to step behind the camera as a director from time to time, and his most recent project was an episode of the Netflix Marvel series Iron Fist.

“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,” RZA said in a statement. “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.”

Photo Credit: PR Photos

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.