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Starz to Develop Action-Drama ‘Black Samurai’

Proposed Series Based on the Novels Written by Marc Olden

Starz is developing the action-drama series under the working title “Black Samurai” with Jerry Bruckheimer Television starring Academy Award winner Common (“John Wick 2,” “Suicide Squad”), who will also executive produce under his Freedom Road Productions banner. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA (“Kill Bill 1 & 2,” “American Gangster”) and Mitchell Diggs will also executive produce for Wu Films.

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.

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Starz, Common, RZA and Andre Gaines on ‘Black Samurai,’” note Jerry Bruckheimer. “This incredible creative team will combine all of their talents and experience to bring the classic book series to brand new life with cutting edge artistry, music and imagery.”

“Black Samurai” will be updated from the original novels and 1977 film. It will be 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, creating a modern-day international action star.

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of weekly column “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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