Japan’s first black samurai soon to be on screen with Omar Sy

According to the American film magazine The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has chosen Omar Sy to play Yasuke, the main character of its next biography dedicated to Japan’s first black and foreign samurai.

The same source indicates that the French actor with a Senegalese father and a Mauritanian mother will co-produce this five-episode series with Nick Jones Jr, one of the scriptwriters of the animated version available on the American streaming platform since April 2021. .

A legend celebrated

But unlike the fantasy genre animation series, Netflix intends to reproduce as faithfully as possible, with Omar Sy, the life of the mysterious, legendary and fascinating character that was Yasuke.

It is, indeed, a man passed from the condition of slave to that of honorable warrior in the country of the Rising Sun, far from his native land of Makua, in the eastern region of Africa. More specifically in Mozambique, says the Franco-Ivorian journalist Serge Bilé who notably dedicated “Yasuke, the black samurai” to him at Owen Publishing in 2018.

The singular trajectory of Yasuke is that of a character who knew how to make a name for himself thanks to bravery, in the unfavorable context of feudal Japan. Centuries later, its history arouses, from this point of view, many fantasies.

Growing awareness

The film represents a new opportunity for Omar Sy to demonstrate his acting talents, he who started out on French television as a comedian in the early 2000s. His notoriety subsequently crossed French borders to settle on American shores. Today, many film production companies seem to be fighting for it.

Since October 2021, Omar Sy has been in collaboration with Netflix for “the production of exclusive content”, on the strength of his performance in Lupin, an adaptation of the famous eponymous novel by Maurice Leblanc. The series, which is preparing its third season, is one of the most watched in the history of the streaming giant.

Actor Sy also teamed up with Netflix competitor HBO Max last May. “It takes guts to tell the story of the dark samurai. I am extremely lucky to be on this trip with Omar Sy, ”screenwriter Nick Jones Jr reacted on September 8, 2022 about Yasuke.


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