There’s a new Black Samurai riding to the rescue. Starz confirms that Common will executive produce and star in an update of the 1977 film and its literary inspiration, with Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Mitchell Diggs executive producing for Wu Films.

The tentatively-titled Black Samurai will feature Common in the title role as Robert Sand, based on the Black Samurai novels written by Marc Olden. The series is described as “a mash-up of the spy and martial arts genres and infused with the heart, soul and music of Common and the Wu-Tang Clan,” while the full synopsis reads:

Based on the Black Samurai novels written by Marc Olden, the series will follow the character of Robert Sand (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.

Starz describes Sand as “part Jason Bourne, part James Bond, and 100% the hero we need today,” while Common and RZA offered:

Common: I’m beyond excited about ‘Black Samurai.’ This is a unique and special project that offers something rarely seen in art and culture today. 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!

RZA: 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. 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.

National Treasure alum Cormac and Marianne Wibberley will write the pilot and showrun, so stay tuned for more on Starz’s Black Samurai.

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