Common is slashing swords and taking names, samurai style.

The rapper/actor is executive producing and starring in a new drama series called Black Samurai for Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Starz Network. RZA's Wu Films and Common's Freedom Road Productions originated the project over a year ago based on the 1970s literary series of the same name, written by Marc Olden.

The action packed series will center around the journey of Robert Sand (Common), a highly-trained American Army Ranger who meets a legendary Japanese master and is invited to train as a samurai. After his martial arts mentor and samurai brethren are all killed by mercenaries, Sand sets out on a global journey of revenge.

“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,” Common said. “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 has been a fan of the Robert Sand character since he was a kid. Both Common and RZA have agreed to infuse the series with their music to bring a modern and edgy twist to the classic novel stories.  The writers of Bad Boys II and National Treasure, Cormac and Marianne Wibberley, will pen the pilot and serve as showrunners.

“We cannot wait for the world to meet Robert Sand – part Jason Bourne, part James Bond, and 100% the hero we need today,” said Starz president of programming, Carmi Zlotnik

The series is currently in development at Starz, a Lionsgate Company.


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