Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Chadwick Boseman to play history's first black samurai

Illustration for article titled Chadwick Boseman to play historys first black samurai
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

Fresh from being snapped back to reality, Chadwick Boseman is heading to 16th century Japan to play Yasuke, the first man from Africa to become a samurai—though actual historical proof of his existence is slim, so it’s unclear if he literally held the title “samurai” or if he just did the stuff a samurai would do and didn’t get the title, like an unpaid intern working a 40-hour week. This comes from Deadline, which explains that Yasuke arrived in Japan as a slave to Jesuit missionaries, supposedly making him the first black man to ever set foot in Japan. That helped him catch the eye of famous daimyō Oda Nobunaga, who later hired Yasuke as his weapon bearer and presented him with the requisite swords of a samurai.


Narcos co-creator Doug Miro is writing the script, but that’s pretty much the only useful information the Deadline report has for us. Boseman offers some hints about what to expect from this project, mentioning in a statement that it’s “not just an action movie” but a “cultural event” and “an exchange” that he’s excited to be on board with. That means it’ll at least be somewhat of an action movie, so we can all look forward to seeing Chadwick Boseman speaking Japanese and swinging a katana around.

Also, for your black samurai records, we should point out that this is a separate project from Starz’s Black Samurai TV show with Common, which is based on a book from the ‘70s. Also, Netflix is working on an anime about Yasuke that involves magic and robots. History is fun.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter