Common And Wu-Tang Clan Are Teaming On A 'Black Samurai' Series

While all of my friends loved Bruce Lee growing up, my favorite martial artist was Jim Kelly. For obvious reasons I felt more of a connection to the African-American action star, who is still probably best known for co-starring with Lee in Enter the Dragon. But for me, I was a huge fan of blaxploitation films like Black Belt Jones, the awesome Three the Hard Way (with Fred Williamson and Jim Brown!), and 1977's Black Samurai.

Unfortunately, Kelly died in 2013, but Black Samurai will live on. Common is teaming up with the Wu-Tang Clan for a new Starz series based on the Marc Olden book that spawned the movie. Common will exec-produce and star as Robert Sand, a highly-trained military man whose life is changed when a Japanese samurai master invites him to become a student. When his sensei and samurai brothers are slain, he goes on a quest for vengeance. The movie was cheesy as Hell, involving crazy weapons and voodoo cults and hot chicks and all manner of offbeat enemies. But Kelly kicked ass, and hopefully Common can live up to a pretty high standard, in my book. 

Wu-Tang Clan and Common will be providing the soundtrack, with Jerry Bruckheimer and RZA as exec-producers.  I don't think I need to say why Wu-Tang and RZA are perfect for this project, do I? The pilot's script will be penned by showrunners Cormac and Marianne Wibberley, who will be looking to combine the kung-fu and spy genres much like Olden's novels do. Olden wrote eight Black Samurai books in all, so there's a ton of material to be pulled from. 

RZA's words most reflect my feelings on this becoming a reality. Way too cool!

"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."