Common & RZA work up Starz samurai drama

Scripted-logo-460_2US cable channel Starz is developing a Jerry Bruckheimer drama based on the Black Samurai novels that has rap stars Common and RZA attached.

CommonBlack Samurai (WT) comes from Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Freedom Road Productions, which Common runs, and Wu Films.

Billed as a “mash-up of the spy and martial arts genres”, the series will be based on Marc Olden’s Black Samurai novel series and a 1977 movie.

It will follow a highly-trained US Army Ranger, Robert Sand (Common), who trains as a samurai under a legendary master.

Music from Common and the Wu-Tang Clan.

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

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.”

Common said the drama would be “a unique and special project that offers something rarely seen in art and culture today”.

Cormac and Marianne Wibberley are showrunners and also wrote the pilot script. Bruckheimer, Common, Jonathan Littman, KristieAnn Reed, Shelby Stone, Andre Gaines of Cinemation and Derek Dudley. Bruckheimer’s James Oh will produce.

Starz has global distribution rights.