Common will star in the upcoming TV series Black Samurai, based on Marc Olden’s 1974 book series. The books also inspired a 1977 big screen adaptation by the same name.
The rapper/actor will play the central character, Robert Sand, who is rescued and then trained for seven years by a Japanese samurai master. Sand is eventually driven to embark on a mission of revenge after enduring vicious racism in the military and witnessing the murder of his instructor and fellow samurai by terrorists. These devastating experiences turn him into a killing machine, determined to destroy those responsible for his friends’ deaths.
Comparing the character to Jason Bourne, executive producer Andre Gaines expressed enthusiasm about landing Common for the role, calling him “the next great American actor” and saying that he was an “obvious choice” due to his work in the upcoming John Wick 2 and Suicide Squad.
Besides its expected entertainment value, the series promises to be meaningful, addressing serious issues involving race and diversity.
Along with Gaines and RZA, Wu Films’ Mitchell Diggs and Diane Crafford will also executive produce. Crafford said, “I could not be more pleased that such incredible talent is attached to Marc’s work. This series has always been one of my favorites, and Robert Sand, the Black Samurai, is a fascinating character who I can’t wait to see brought to life on the screen.”
Black Samurai is being shopped around to different networks, and producers are also searching for a writer and director.
In addition to Suicide Squad and John Wick 2, Common has several other exciting features in the works, including the Hip Hop drama Coco, out later this year.