EXCLUSIVE: MGM will mount Yasuke, an action film that is based on the true story of history’s only recorded African samurai in feudal Japan. Stuart C. Paul has written the script and Whalerock Industries’ Lloyd Braun and Andrew Mittman are producing. The latter has joined the exec ranks at MGM and will steer the project.
A native of Portuguese Mozambique, Yasuke was taken captive and brought to 16th-century Japan as a slave to Jesuit missionaries. The first black man to set foot on Japanese soil, Yasuke’s arrival arouses the interest of Oda Nobunaga, a ruthless warlord seeking to unite the fractured country under his banner. The script focuses on the complex relationship between the two men as Yasuke earns Nobunaga’s friendship, respect — and ultimately, the honor, swords and title of samurai.
Paul recently sold Scorpion to STX as a pitch with Joel Silver producing, and previously sold his feature spec Terminal Point to Universal with Will Packer producing. He is also currently developing the Roger Zelazny fantasy book series The Chronicles of Amber as a TV project for Skybound Entertainment. He’s directing Project Us, an independent documentary about a team of street artists in Los Angeles.
Paul is repped by Circle of Confusion and attorney Ryan Nord of The Nord Group.