Chadwick Boseman is adding another historical Black figure to his acting resume.
According to Deadline, the movie star has signed on to play Yasuke, a slave who was brought to Japan during the 16th century. He was “the first African samurai to swing a sword in Japan,” the site reports.
“Yasuke was a native of Portuguese Mozambique who was brought to Japan as a slave to Jesuit missionaries,” according to Deadline. “The first black man to set foot on Japanese soil, Yasuke’s arrival aroused the interest of Nobunaga, a ruthless warlord seeking to unite the fractured country under his banner. A complex relationship developed between the two men as Yasuke earned Nobunaga’s friendship, respect — and ultimately, the honor, swords and title of samurai.”
Doug Miro, the co-creator of Netflix series Narcos, will be writing the script for the movie. He will continue to write and executive produce the show with fellow co-creator Carlo Bernard and Eric Newman, who serves as the showrunner.
“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.”
Boseman has played other notable Black figures during his acting career, including Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get On Up, Thurgood Marshall in Marshall and his most recent character, T’Challa in Black Panther.
For his next project, Boseman will be starring in 21 Bridges, which is set to be released this year. Check out the trailer below:
Fans can also see Boseman play T’challa in Avengers: Endgame playing in theaters now.