Hip-hop artist Common is continuing his foray into the acting world as today we’ve learned that he’s signed up for a leading role in Black Samurai. Touted as a potential TV series, the project is still in the early stages of development but has already garnered significant interest. Wu Tang Clan’s RZA is attached as an executive producer, hoping to bring additional clout when the show gets shopped to networks.
As for its content, Black Samurai is said to take inspiration from Marc Olden’s 1974 book series that also served as source material for the 1977 film of the same name. Common will star as Robert Sand, a man “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.”
Once producers successfully broker a deal with a network, the search will be on for a director to helm the pilot – if not the whole season – along with a writer. One of those producers is Andre Gaines, who purchased the book rights with the hopes of turning the show into a star vehicle for its leading man:
“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. 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.”
Since making the transition from the studio to screen, Common’s acting resume is peppered with a variety of projects in all genres. This year he was seen in the Barbershop sequel, as well as committing to big supporting roles in the likes of Suicide Squad and John Wick 2. With Black Samurai coming up, there’s every reason to believe that Gaines might be onto something.