The Black Panther star will be playing yet another boundary-breaking action hero.
Deadline announced yesterday that the Black Panther star will be playing the lead in a new movie about the first African samurai, called Yasuke.
The film will tell the true story of its title character, a native of Mozambique who was brought to Japan as a slave in 1579. There, he became an indentured bodyguard to a Portuguese missionary, who eventually gave him to the Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga in a diplomatic gesture of appeasement. Yasuke developed a complex friendship with the warlord, who eventually helped him to attain the elusive samurai title. He was the first and possibly only African to do so.
2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards - Red Carpet Image via People
Boseman will be co-producing the film, alongside Picturestart and Michael De Luca, and with Stephen L'Heureux and Logan Coles' Xception Content. The script will be written by Doug Miro, co-creator of the Netflix series Narcos.
The Yasuke legend has been on Hollywood's radar for quite a while. MGM announced only a few weeks ago that it will also be releasing a film based on the story, indicating a potential battle-of-the-period-pieces—though it's hard to imagine that any adaption could match one that has Boseman at the helm.
"The legend of Yasuke is one of history's best kept secrets, the only person of non-Asian origin to become a Samurai," Boseman said. "That's not just an action movie, that's a cultural event, an exchange, and I am excited to be part of it."
According to the authors of the biography African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan, by Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard, "People in the streets did not only gape at him. They bowed, heads to the earth, as they addressed him." For a star who has portrayed the king of Wakanda, James Brown, and Jackie Robinson, this progression to a powerful new historical figure seems natural.
Chadwick Boseman, about playing James Brown www.youtube.com
Boseman will also star in Netflix's Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee's followup to BlacKkKlansman (2018), and he is currently filming 21 Bridges, a film by Game of Thrones director Brian Kirk about an NYPD detective with a second chance. His latest work, a reprisal of Black Panther's T'Challa in Avengers: Endgame, is in theatres now.
21 BRIDGES Trailer (2019) Chadwick Boseman Action Movie www.youtube.com
Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.
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The ice cream company released a powerful statement this week.
With Black Lives Matter protests popping up left and right, lots of well-known public figures and companies are taking a stand against police brutality.
Celebrities are putting their lives on the line protesting, childrens' toy companies are donating tens of thousands to organizations like the NAACP, and even infamous YouTube stars are hitting the streets. But Ben & Jerry's—yes, the ice cream brand—have made the most detailed statement of all.
"The murder of George Floyd was the result of inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy," reads a lengthy statement on the Ben & Jerry's website. "What happened to George Floyd was not the result of a bad apple; it was the predictable consequence of a racist and prejudiced system and culture that has treated Black bodies as the enemy from the beginning."
The statement continues: "Four years ago, we publicly stated our support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Today, we want to be even more clear about the urgent need to take concrete steps to dismantle white supremacy in all its forms."
Ben and Jerry then outlines a four-step plan to end white supremacy. First is calling on President Trump to disavow white supremacy, instead of calling on the military to shoot American protesters. Second is calling on Congress to pass H.R. 40, a bill with instructions to study racism, its deep roots in American history, and how antiquated beliefs are still prevalent today. Third is creating a task force to help increase police accountability, and fourth is a "call on the Department of Justice to reinvigorate its Civil Rights Division as a staunch defender of the rights of Black and Brown people." Trump has never made plans even half that detailed!
It's a little sad that ice cream companies are more adamant about ending centuries of white supremacy than our own government officials even at the state level. Especially when other companies have issued statements that attempt to overshadow their previous racist actions, Ben & Jerry's commitment to justice is admirable. Ben and Jerry are officially the two coolest white boomer men we know, and we will be celebrating by vacuum-inhaling three pints of Chunky Monkey.
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