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Thread: Black Samurai TV series

  1. #1
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    Black Samurai TV series

    Never read the books, but I may have seen the '77 film. I've seen a few Jim Kelly films but I can't really remember this one. Perhaps I should revisit it.

    Common to Star in ‘Black Samurai’ TV Series (EXCLUSIVE)
    TV Reporter Elizabeth Wagmeister @EWagmeister


    Common Black Samurai DAVID FISHER/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

    JUNE 17, 2016 | 09:30AM PT

    Common is set to star in a television adaptation of “Black Samurai,” Variety has learned exclusively.

    The TV project, currently in development, is based on Marc Olden’s 1974 book series, which inspired the 1977 film of the same name. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA is attached as an exec producer.

    Producers are currently shopping the project. Once a network is attached, the search for a writer and director will begin. With Common attached to star, the hot project is already garnering much interest.

    “Black Samurai” follows the story of Robert Sand (played by Common) who is 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.

    Producer Andre Gaines landed the rights to the book, and is exec producing the potential series, marking the first television show to be developed under his Cinemation banner.

    “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,” said Gaines. “With ‘John Wick 2’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ coming up, 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.”

    Along with Gaines and RZA, Wu Films’ Mitchell Diggs and Diane Crafford are also exec producing.

    “I could not be more pleased that such incredible talent is attached to Marc’s work,” said Crafford. “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.”

    Speaking of RZA, Gaines commented, “There is a long tradition and storied relationship between hip-hop and martial arts. Having RZA and the WuTang brand on board to executive produce will validate the series even more and mobilize the fans.”

    The deal is the latest project based on Olden’s work, following “Poe Must Die,” which is being developed as a film trilogy by Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures.

    Aside from “Suicide Squad” and “John Wick 2,” Common’s acting career is booming. He was recently seen in the latest “Barbershop” flick and NBC’s “The Wiz Live” musical. On the producing side, he’s attached as an EP on a Showtime drama from Lena Waithe. He won the Oscar in 2015, along with John Legend, for “Glory” from “Selma.”

    Common and RZA are repped by CAA. Gaines is repped by Ethan Cohan, Todd Weinstein and Gordon Bobb at Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein and Lezcano. The deal was negotiated by Paradigm, on behalf of Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2
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    I still have the books somewhere. Got them as a kid back in the '70s. I thought they were pretty good. I liked the way the author would describe the graphic effects the bad guys felt while getting their arses kicked. And there were some colorful bad guys, like the pimp with the sword cane, and the Indian ex-con/killer. Later I saw the Jim Kelly movie version, and thought it sucked. It's one of those things that worked better in books than it did onscreen.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 06-22-2016 at 03:22 PM.

  3. #3
    Greetings,

    I went to see the Jim Kelly movie with both anticipation and trepidation, only wishing I had stayed away from this flick once I saw it.

    The only standout for me was Marilyn Joi. I really felt sorry for her character. And I learned that buzzards can really take someone down to the ground and if you do not defend yourself, it will peck you to death. It is like fighting a velociraptor with wings.

    mickey

  4. #4
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    Starz

    Starz lands 'Black Samurai' series starring Common and produced by RZA
    August 22nd 2017

    Starz announced Tuesday that they are developing the Black Samurai series from Jerry Bruckheimer Television and RZA's Wu Films.



    Produced by RZA, the action-drama will star Common. The rapper-actor will also executive produce.



    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 13: RZA poses for a portrait at the Winter 2014 TCA's on January 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maarten de Boer/Getty Images) LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 13: RZA poses for a portrait at the Winter 2014 TCA's on January 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maarten de Boer/Getty Images)

    We first told you last year that a series was in development, with RZA producing and Common starring. Marc Olden's "Black Samurai" series of novels were written and published between 1974 and 1975.

    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.



    “We cannot wait for the world to meet Robert Sand – part Jason Bourne, part James Bond, and 100% the hero we need today. ‘Black Samurai’ promises to be an action-packed ride and with the Bruckheimer team, Common, RZA and Andre at the helm, we can feel certain this will be exceptional storytelling,” said Carmi Zlotnik, president of programming for Starz.

    “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!” said Common.

    RZA said, “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."

    More info on the Black Samurai series:

    Marc Olden's "Black Samurai" series of novels were written and published between 1974 and 1975. The franchise follows American GI Robert Sand, on leave in Tokyo, who is shot trying to protect an old man from a group of drunk American soldiers. What he doesn't realize is that the old man is actually a Japanese Samurai master, who really doesn't need Sand's help, as he beats his attackers senseless. The Samurai is Master Konuma; he rescues Sand, and trains him for seven years, teaching him martial arts, swordplay, and stealth, until he becomes the Black Samurai - not only the first black man to ever take the oath of the Samurai, but the strongest fighter Konuma has ever trained.

    One night, their dojo is ambushed, they are outnumbered and Sand witnesses the killing of his teacher and brother samurai by unknown villains. Sand then becomes a man with a mission for vengeance - to destroy the corrupt powers who are plotting an assault on world peace that could destroy everything he holds dear.

    By the way, this is not to be confused with "Afro Samurai," the Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takashi Okazaki, which follows the life of Afro Samurai who witnessed his father (owner of the No. 1 headband) being killed at the hands of a gunslinger named Justice (owner of the No. 2 headband) when he was a child. As an adult, Afro sets off to avenge his father’s death and kill Justice. It was adapted into a 5-episode animated TV series that later spawned a made-for-tv movie sequel, "Afro Samurai: Resurrection" in 2009. In addition, a video game and two successful soundtracks produced also by RZA were developed. Several years ago, Samuel L. Jackson was to produce a live action film based on the series, but it never happened.

    by Trey Mangum on August 22nd 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I still have the books somewhere. Got them as a kid back in the '70s. I thought they were pretty good.
    I never read these Jimbo. I'd love to read them now, at least one of them. How many did you have? How many were there?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  5. #5
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    Hi, Gene:

    IIRC, there were maybe about 3 or 4(?) books total. They were 1970s-era paperback book-sized (not big). I haven't seen them since the late '70s or so, but I know I never got rid of them. They were probably among the things I put into storage somewhere. If I ever happen to come across any of them, I'd be willing to lend them to you, if you'd like.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 08-23-2017 at 09:00 AM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the offer, but please don't go to any trouble...

    I was just ruminating on them but I'm so behind on my reading list already. Like years behind.

    If I stumble across it at some used bookstore, maybe I'll pick it up. I love that cover, especially the 'injun'. My native American friends must be wincing at that.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I was just ruminating on them but I'm so behind on my reading list already. Like years behind.

    If I stumble across it at some used bookstore, maybe I'll pick it up. I love that cover, especially the 'injun'. My native American friends must be wincing at that.
    Not a problem, Gene. I'm also behind in both my 'books-to-read' and 'movies-to-see' lists.

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