After much speculation on the Hero of Yasuke production – Japan’s first African samurai; it has now been officially confirmed that Chadwick Boseman will play the role.
Back in 2017, it was heralded that a movie on Yasuke, the world’s first black samurai would be going into production without the main act in view. It has now been confirmed that none other than Chadwick Boseman will play the role of the historical warrior.
After playing the role of T’Challa in the Marvel flick ‘Black Panther’, Boseman gained global recognition and has been known for portraying strong, iconic black characters in the movie.
History accounts that Yasuke is believed to have reigned during the 1500s, and he could have been from Mozambique, Angola or Ethiopia. However, details about his life have remained a mystery to date. What is evident to man is that he worked under a Japanese ruler Oda Nobunaga. It was this Japanese ruler who named him ‘Yasuke’, according to ‘Shadow and Act’. However, no account of his actual birth name was recorded.
Upon arriving in Japan in the late 14th century as a black man, Yasuke was met with astonishment. At the time, he was the first black person that most of the Japanese had ever seen. Out of curiosity to know him, he became Nobunga’s bodyguard, before climbing the military ranks to become one of Japan’s most celebrated warriors.
Speaking on his participation in the historical warrior movie, Boseman said, “The legend of Yasuke is One out of many history’s best-kept secrets. He is the only person of non-Asian origin to become not just a samurai but a celebrated warrior. To me, that’s not just an action movie, that’s a cultural event; an exchange, and I am delighted to be part of the cast”.
The movie is being developed under a team of producers, including Mike De Luca, Stephen L’Heureux, Erik Frig, and Chadwick Boseman. Howbeit, the script is being written by Narcos co-creator Doug Miro.
Playing Boseman as the role is a perfect match as he has played both historical and fictitious characters in times past. He has acted in the likes of Thurgood Marshall in ‘Marshall’, Jackie Robinson in ’42’ and James Brown in ‘Get On Up’.
Next, he will star in the crime thriller ’21 Bridges’, directed by Brian Kirk and produced by Russo Brothers. Here, he plays the role of a detective hunting a pair of cop killers.