From African Superhero to African Samurai: Chadwick Boseman’s New Role is one of ‘History’s Best Kept Secrets’

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Chadwick Boseman will be picking up a sword when he plays Yasuke, who’s believed to be the first African man to become a samurai in Japan.

Yasuke, who was a native of Portuguese Mozambique, was brought to Japan in 1579 as a slave to Jesuit missionaries.

Chadwick Boseman will play the first samurai of non-Asian origin in a new film. (Photo: Dan MacMedan / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

The African warrior eventually served under Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga, who he eventually became friends with and it was Nobunaga who gave Yasuke the title of samurai.

Boseman said the film isn’t just another role for him but an opportunity to tell a story that’s been completely obscured.

“The legend of Yasuke is one of history’s best kept secrets, the only person of non-Asian origin to become a samurai,” said Boseman in a statement. “That’s not just an action movie, that’s a cultural event, an exchange, and I am excited to be part of it.”

Boseman will help produce the film through his Xception Content production company, and the script will be handled by Doug Miro, the co-creator of the Internet crime series “Narcos.”

In addition to playing the African samurai — who was captured in a 1582 battle — the Howard University grad also stars in the crime thriller “21 Bridges,” set to premiere July 12.

Boseman plays an NYPD detective who shuts down all of Manhattan for an entire night to capture criminals who left eight police officers dead. He also shuts down the 21 bridges that lead into the island, hence the title.

The crime is ultra personal to Boseman’s character as well, because his father who was also a cop was gunned down when he was a child. The “Black Panther” star posted the trailer of “21 Bridges” to his Instagram page late last month.

“Even during the first read, I got lost in Detective Andre Davis’ ride,” he wrote.

A release date for the Yasuke film has yet to be determined.

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