Chadwick Boseman will get the chance to put his Black Panther fighting skills to use again soon. For his next project, Boseman will play the title role in a film based on real-life African samurai Yasuke.
Brought to Japan as a slave to Jesuit missionaries in the 16th century, Yasuke was the first native African to set foot in Japan. His arrival caught the notice of warlord Oda Nobunaga, who had plans to unite Japan -- then a fractured group of feudal fiefdoms -- under his own rule. Nobunaga later bestowed the title of samurai on Yasuke.
"The legend of Yasuke is one of history’s best kept secrets, the only person of non-Asian origin to become a Samurai. That’s not just an action movie, that’s a cultural event, an exchange, and I am excited to be part of it,” Boseman said in a statement.
Boseman's production company, Xception Content, will team with Erik Feig's Picturestart, Michael De Luca's De Luca Productions and Stephen L’Heureux's Solipsist to produce the picture. Narcos co-creator and executive producer Doug Miro is writing the screenplay.
The story of Yasuke has been a hot property for some time now. Erik Feig had it in mind when he headed production at Lionsgate, and MGM is proceeding with its own film about the unique samurai. That one is written by Stuart C. Paul and produced by Lloyd Braun and Andrew Mittman.
Boseman is no stranger to biographic movies. He played Jackie Robinson in 42, then followed up portraying soul legend James Brown in Get on Up and jurist Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.