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Thread: Yasuke

  1. #1
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    Yasuke

    MARCH 23, 2017 9:49am PT by Ashley Lee
    'Highlander' Creator Gregory Widen to Pen Lionsgate's 'Black Samurai'
    Michael De Luca and Stephen L'Heureux are producing the action drama, which will tell the story of the first black samurai to serve a warlord in Japan.


    Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

    Michael De Luca, who is producing the film with Stephen L’Heureux

    Michael De Luca and Stephen L'Heureux are producing the action drama, which will tell the story of the first black samurai to serve a warlord in Japan.

    Yasuke is one step closer to the big screen.

    Lionsgate has tapped Highlander creator Gregory Widen to script Black Samurai, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

    Michael De Luca and Stephen L’Heureux are producing the film as a co-production between Solipsist Films and De Luca Productions.

    The period action drama is based on the historical tale of Yasuke, who is known to be the first black samurai to serve a warlord in Japan. Under a warlord named Oda Nobunaga in the mid-1500s, he is the only known African to reach that ranking in feudal Japan.

    Widen co-wrote Highlander, the 1986 film about the adventures an the ageless immortal Scottish swordsman. It spurred a series of films and a syndicated television series. He is repped by Above the Line and Echo Lake.
    This is different than the Black Samurai TV series
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2
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    Chadwick Boseman - good call

    I like the title change too. Changing the title of this thread from 'Black Samurai' to 'Yasuke'.

    Chadwick Boseman To Play African Samurai ‘Yasuke’ In Deal With Picturestart, De Luca Productions, Solipsist & X●ception Content
    By Mike Fleming Jr
    Co-Editor-in-Chief, Film
    May 7, 2019 9:00am


    Matt Baron/Shutterstock

    EXCLUSIVE: Fresh from playing the African warrior king Black Panther in Avengers: Endgame, Chadwick Boseman has officially aligned himself to play Yasuke, the first African samurai to swing a sword in Japan.

    Erik Feig’s Picturestart has teamed with Mike De Luca and his De Luca Productions banner, Stephen L’Heureux and his Solipsist banner, and Boseman and Logan Coles’ X●ception Content to produce the film adaptation of the story of Yasuke, who served under Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga in 16th century Japan.

    Yasuke was a native of Portuguese Mozambique who was brought to Japan as a slave to Jesuit missionaries. The first black man to set foot on Japanese soil, Yasuke’s arrival aroused the interest of Nobunaga, a ruthless warlord seeking to unite the fractured country under his banner. A complex relationship developed between the two men as Yasuke earned Nobunaga’s friendship, respect — and ultimately, the honor, swords and title of samurai.

    Doug Miro is writing the script. he co-created the hit Netflix series Narcos, which he continues to write and exec produce alongside co-creator Carlo Bernard and showrunner Eric Newman.

    “The legend of Yasuke is one of history’s best kept secrets, the only person of non-Asian origin to become a Samurai,” Boseman said. “That’s not just an action movie, that’s a cultural event, an exchange, and I am excited to be part of it.”

    The Yasuke project has been percolating for awhile and Feig and the producers started it at Lionsgate when Feig headed production there. It shook loose when he left. MGM recently set a rival Yasuke project that has a script by Stuart C. Paul, and Whalerock Industries’ Lloyd Braun and Andrew Mittman producing.

    Beyond Black Panther/T’Challa, Boseman has most recently starred as Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get On Up, and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. He will next star in STX’s 21 Bridges, which he and Coles also produced along The Russo Brothers. Boseman is represented by Greene & Associates Talent Agency and Management 360.

    Coles is represented by Management 360, and this deal was brokered by UTA and completed prior the expiration of WGA/ATA’s franchise agreement on April 12.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  3. #3
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    Random article from 2017

    I'm sure this resurfaced because of last week's announcement.

    FLASHBACK
    THE INCREDIBLE LEGEND OF THE FIRST BLACK SAMURAI
    By Leslie Nguyen-Okwu


    IVAN-96 / GETTY

    WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
    GTFO Tom Cruise.

    When a 6-foot-tall African slave landed in Japan, he stuck out like a sore thumb. People lost all modesty and nearly caused a stampede trying to get a closer look. Such a sight was so foreign in Kyoto — he was one of the first Africans to ever arrive on the island — that a powerful Japanese warlord ordered him to remove his clothes while a flock of servants tried to scrub the “black ink” off his skin. Little did the warlord know that the slave was destined to become the world’s first Black samurai.

    The samurai are among the most enduring symbols of Japanese cultural heritage, and few foreigners have ever claimed the title. But one unorthodox man stands out from the long lineup of noble Japanese warriors. The story of Yasuke may sound like the plot to a Quentin Tarantino movie, but he did indeed don a kabuto as history’s only African samurai. Yasuke was abducted from his home somewhere in central or western Africa — or Mozambique, historians say — and sold to a Jesuit priest named Alessandro Valignano. In 1579, Father Valignano went on a missionary trip to Japan and took Yasuke with him. According to letters of Portuguese missionary Luis Frois and The History of the Church of Japan, a 17th-century book by François Solier, Yasuke was around 24 or 25 years old, towered over the Japanese at 6-foot-2 and had skin like an “ox” or “charcoal.”

    [YASUKE] WASN’T REGARDED AS HUMAN CHATTEL ANYMORE, BUT LIKE ALL VASSALS, EXPECTED TO SERVE ODA FAITHFULLY.
    MATT ALT, VICE PRESIDENT, ALTJAPAN

    His celebrity status soon piqued the curiosity of Oda Nobunaga, a medieval Japanese warlord who was striving to unify Japan and bring peace to a country racked by civil war. Nobunaga praised Yasuke’s strength and stature, describing “his might as that of 10 men,” and brought him on as his feudal bodyguard. The African’s original name is unknown, but Nobunaga called him Yasuke, most likely a Japanization of his birth name or Christian name. A worldly and open-minded ruler, “Nobunaga was very meritocratic. He could see past the skin. He used the Portuguese and foreigners during that time to his advantage,” says Lawrence Winkler, author of Samurai Road.

    In the Land of the Rising Sun, Yasuke “wasn’t regarded as human chattel anymore, but like all vassals, expected to serve Oda faithfully,” says Tokyo-based Matt Alt, vice president of publishing house AltJapan. Nobunaga grew fond of Yasuke and treated him like family as he earned his worth on the battlefield and on patrol at Azuchi Castle. In less than a year, Yasuke went from being a lowly page to joining the upper echelons of Japan’s warrior class, the samurai. Before long, Yasuke was speaking Japanese fluently and riding alongside Nobunaga in battle — “an honor reserved only for people Oda must have respected and trusted,” adds Alt. As one of Nobunaga’s right-hand men, Yasuke gained a handful of enviable privileges during his tenure — including his own private residence, a ceremonial katana sword and the pleasure of dining with Nobunaga — which few samurai were privy to at the time.

    But much about Yasuke remains cloaked in mystery to this day. Like many uprooted slaves, the details of his early life are scant, and official records were poorly kept in 16th-century Japan. Not too surprising, since the era of Warring States, or the Sengoku period, was a turbulent century in history that resulted in a bloodbath as big personalities vied for control of Japan. Just as the Alamo or Antietam conjures images of brave generals and founding fathers, so too do the key struggles of the Sengoku era for modern Japan, says Alt. And during this period of cultural flowering and political upheaval, Yasuke became a footnote to the competing forces. “There’s really not a huge amount to say about Yasuke, great as he is,” adds Alt, noting how thin the historical records are. In the summer of 1582, not long after Yasuke achieved samurai status, a general betrayed Nobunaga, besieged his castle and burned everything to the ground. Ever the loyal warrior, Yasuke quickly joined Nobunaga’s son, Oda Nobutada, to help defend the fortress — but to no avail. The fortress was eventually overrun, and the enemy forces banished Yasuke to a European Jesuit missionary in Kyoto, where he lived out the remainder of his days in obscurity.

    Although his samurai career was short-lived, Yasuke became the hero of Kuro-suke (くろ助), a children’s historical fiction book that won the Japanese Association of Writers for Children Prize in 1969. The book ends with Yasuke living to fight another day. But when he sleeps at night, he dreams of his parents in Africa and silently cries — the story of a valiant warrior triumphing against all odds, but also the story of a pained young man dropped into a world of strangers. His sacrifice, not his sword or slaughter, made him a true samurai.

    Leslie Nguyen BioLeslie Nguyen-Okwu, Reporter Follow Leslie Nguyen-Okwu on FacebookFollow Leslie Nguyen-Okwu on TwitterContact Leslie Nguyen-Okwu
    Gene Ching
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  4. #4
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    Lakeith Stanfield

    Lakeith Stanfield to play first African samurai in Netflix's Yasuke anime
    Netflix revealed a slate of upcoming anime releases, including a Pacific Rim anime.

    By Nick Romano October 27, 2020 at 10:36 AM EDT


    CREDIT: NETFLIX; NEILSON BARNARD/GETTY IMAGES
    Lakeith Stanfield is getting animated again for Netflix, though this next role isn't quite like Guy on BoJack Horseman.

    The Uncut Gems and Sorry to Bother You actor will lead the voice cast of Yasuke, a new anime in which Stanfield portrays the first African samurai of the same name.

    Set in war-torn feudal Japan with mechs and magic, Yasuke follows the warrior as he struggles to maintain a peaceful living after a lifetime of violence. He's thrown back into battle when a local village becomes the epicenter of warring daimyo and he's tasked with transporting a mysterious child who's targeted by dark forces.

    The series hails from director-creator-executive producer LeSean Thomas with character designs by Takeshi Koike. Animation production will come from MAPPA, which worked on Attack on Titan: The Final Season.

    News of the project was announced Monday night during Netflix's Anime Festival in Japan that was then livestreamed online. Five brand-new anime projects were announced: the stop-motion Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure, a modern adaptation of the popular manga Thermae Romae Novae, survival story High-Rise Invasion, the four-part Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan, and a yakuza-turned-househusband story The Way of the Househusband. The streamer also revealed new looks and updates on 11 others.


    CREDIT: NETFLIX
    Pacific Rim: Black tells of an Australia overrun by Kaiju, the gargantuan creates that rose out of the Pacific Rim in Guillermo del Toro's original film. The entire continent has been evacuated. Teenage siblings Taylor and Haley remain to search for their missing parents, teaching themselves how to pilot a battered Jaeger robot. Craig Kyle and Greg Johnson serve as co-showrunners.

    New looks also arrived for the CG anime Resident Evil series, as well as EDEN, Vampire in the Garden, Godzilla Singular Point, Transformers: War for the Cybertron Trilogy, Trese, B: The Beginning Succession, Baki Hanma, and Spriggan.

    These moves mark the latest push by Netflix to become a streaming destination for anime. According to the company, more than 100 million households around the world watched at least one anime title on Netflix between October 2019 and September 2020. Netflix logs one household view when a single user account watching at least two minutes of a show or film. Multiple profiles within the same account could watch the same thing or a single profile could watch the same title multiple times, but Netflix still counts that as one household view. Anime titles also appeared on the platform's Top 10 list in almost 100 countries in 2020.
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    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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