Two months ago, we reported that a movie about Yasuke, the first black samurai, was going into production. The movie titled Black Samurai, will be produced by Michael De Luca and written by Highlander creator Gregory Widen under Lionsgate studios. We also mentioned that there are many variations of Yasuke’s origin story, which means that there's a lot of material for different filmmakers to work with.
Deranta' Avaloy, a young black filmmaker, and his Avaloy Studios have launched a HatchFund campaign to fund an animated series and a comic book on Yasuke. Production has already started on the comic book, Yasuke: Birth of A Samurai, but the team is now trying to raise at least $3,500 (N1,277,500) to complete the production and manufacturing process of the preview issue of the comic book.
On the campaign page, Deranta' writes:
"Yasuke: Birth of A Samurai was created out of the desire to fill a gap that has been long ignored in the superhero genre. The need for a hero of color that is not a sidekick, a joke or a character that is mandated by those that can’t relate to the African American culture.
The biggest thing we want to accomplish is to provide a character that the children can look up to, read the stories, watch the cartoons and be able to relate to the main characters and know that they are able to see reflections of themselves and feel a sense of pride."
The comic opens with Yasuke starting his training to be a samurai under the guidance of Oda Nobunga but being held back by the mental anguish he suffered during his time as a slave.
Yasuke's story is relatable to all of us somehow and I'm intrigued to see how this project turns out, especially with a black person at the helm. Watch the crowdfunding video below: