Starz, the premium cable network, is partnering with RZA and Jerry Bruckheimer to bring Marc Olden’s book series Black Samurai to life as a scripted TV series. The project has already lined up Chicago born rapper Common to play the lead character, Robert Sand.
The drama follows Robert Sand, 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.
The series will be a modernization of the 1977 blaxploitation film staring Jim Kelly and will be a mash-up of spy and martial arts genres. The show will have a soundtrack that features the music of Common and Wu-Tang Clan, among others.
Black Samurai marks Common’s return to the small screen following his leading role on AMC Western Hell on Wheels, which he exited during its fourth season in 2014.