Blitz Bazawule Teams Up with Warner Bros. for ‘Black Samurai’ Film on Yasuke


Blitz Bazawule, the acclaimed director of “The Color Purple,” is set to direct Warner Bros.‘ next feature film, “Black Samurai,” which explores the life of Yasuke, Japan’s first Black samurai.

Bazawule, known for his versatile talents as a filmmaker, author, visual artist, rapper, singer-songwriter, and record producer, made his directorial debut with “The Burial of Kojo” in 2018. He has since worked on notable projects like episodes of Ava DuVernay’s “Cherish the Day” and Beyonce’s visual album “Black Is King.””Black Samurai” is not expected to be a conventional biopic; rather, it aims to bring an innovative approach to storytelling, drawing inspiration from films like “300” and “Mad Max.” The exact plot details are being kept under wraps, but it promises to be a visually stunning and captivating narrative.

Yasuke’s story has fascinated many artists and filmmakers, leading to various artistic interpretations. One such project is the Netflix anime series “Yasuke,” which premiered in 2021 and features Lakeith Stanfield as the voice of the titular character.

Bazawule’s previous work on “The Color Purple” was highly acclaimed, earning numerous award nominations and wins, including an Academy Award nomination for supporting actress Danielle Brooks. The film received praise for its artistic interpretation and presentation, showcasing Bazawule’s unique visual language.Warner Bros.’ decision to choose Bazawule for “Black Samurai” was made after a competitive bidding process, with the studio beating out three other studios and streamers for the project. The script, written by Bazawule himself, was acquired by Warner Bros. and will be produced under his Inward Gaze banner.

The announcement of “Black Samurai” comes as Bazawule continues to garner recognition in the industry. He was named one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch, and he is also developing a limited series for FX based on his debut novel, “The Scent of Burnt Flowers,” with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II attached to star and executive produce.

Bazawule is represented by CAA, M88, and Granderson Des Rochers, and his upcoming project is sure to be eagerly anticipated by audiences and critics alike.


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