(TIML NEWS) From Black Panther to African samurai. Chadwick Boseman is set to take on an a little-known story in an upcoming film project. The 41-year-old actor will star as Yasuke, Japan’s first and only known African Samurai, Deadline reports.
The film, set in 16th century Japan, will recount what little is known about Yasuke’s story. Narcos creator, Doug Miro, is penning the script according to Variety.
Boseman and Logan Coles will produce the film through their Exception Content imprint, along with Picturestar, De Luca Productions, and Solipsist.
Yasuke is believed to have been from Portuguese-ruled Mozambique and arrived in Japan in 1579 as a slave to Italian Jesuit missionary, Alesandro Valigano. Yasuke either belonged to the Makua tribe of northern Mozambique, or the Yao people found further inland in Mozambique, Malawi, and Tanzania.
His arrival in Japan caught the attention of warlord Oda Nobunga who allegedly thought his complexion was painted on and made him scrub his skin. After Yasuke proved that his skin color was real, Nobunga apparently took an interest in him. Yasuke was likely the only non-Japanese person to serve Nobunga who gave him his own residence, a katana sword ceremony, and the job of weapon bearer.
Per Deadline, the two forged a “complicated” relationship where Yasuke earned Nobunga’s trust and respect, along with the rank of samurai.
Meanwhile, Boseman is used to taking on real life figures having portrayed Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall in previous films.