Chadwick Boseman was set to star in and produce a movie of Yasuke. A film that would tell the story of a real-life samurai. Fans are wondering what will happen to the film.

Yasuke is a film project, set to loosely follow the life of a historical figure of the same name. In real life, Yasuke was an African man enslaved and sent to Japan. He is thought to have arrived in 16th century Japan with the Portuguese during the Nanban trade.

The film was set to feature and be produced by late Hollywood star, Chadwick Boseman. Fans are wondering what will happen to the film now.

So, what happened to the film that was set to star Chadwick Boseman?

Yasuke: Chadwick Boseman film explained

  • The Yasuke film is still in the works and is currently being financed through the independent media company, PICTURESTART.

PICTURESTART was launched in May 2019 by Erik Feig, the company states that they “create, develop, produce, and finance original stories for all mediums”. On their website, the film is shown to be “In development”, among many other titles the company is working on.

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Named producers on Yasuke, include Chadwick Boseman, De Luca Productions and Stephen L’Heureux. Before passing, Boseman is thought to have been working on the film with the production team and companies.

The news of the film’s production was released in early 2017. A year after the announcement for the film, news of an anime adaptation was announced. following this, in early 2019, Chadwick Boseman was cast for the role of Yasuke in the live-action film.

Yasuke’s script is written by Doug Miro and the film was set to be distributed by Lionsgate. However, Deadline state that while production began at Lionsgate, “It shook loose when he (Feig) left-“. Erik Feig’s company PICTURESTART is thought to now be working with well-known production studios and distributors to work on and release the film. This includes companies such as ‘Warner Bros.’, ‘Nordic Entertainment Group’ and ‘Scholastic’, all of whom support PICTURESTART.

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

Boseman passed away on 28th August 2020, due to a long term battle with Colon Cancer. After his passing, it was unclear whether or not the production studios would continue with the project as rumours stated the film had been cancelled. As stated earlier, this is not the case and the film is currently in development. We do not yet know a release date at this time.

It is not known at this time if Boseman managed to film scenes in Yasuke or if the role will be recast. Should anything change, we will be sure to update this article.

Yasuke: Anime series on Netflix

The anime series is scheduled for release on Netflix this month and will be based in feudal Japan. Yasuke’s story will show how he came to be a samurai, his retirement and how he is pulled out of retirement to protect a child who is being hunted.

The series directors are LeSean Thomas and Takeshi Satou. Yasuke is produced by Matthew Shattuck and written by Nick Jones Jr., with the music for the series being composed by Flying Lotus. Mappa studios, known for their work on ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ (2020) and the final season of ‘Attack on Titan’ (2021) are the ones who have animated Yasuke.

Yasuke: Cast of series revealed

The cast for the series on Netflix features both Japanese and English voice actors. The Japanese voice actors are:

  • Jun Soejima as Yasuke
  • Takehiro Hira as Oda Nobunaga
  • Kiko Tamura as Saki
  • Fusako Urabe as Natsumaru
  • Rie Tanaka as Ichika
  • Yu Kamio as Morisuke

The English voice actors as are follows:

  • LaKeith Stanfield as Yasuke
  • Takehiro Hira as Oda Nobunaga
  • Maya Tanida as Saki
  • Ming-Na Wen as Natsumaru
  • Gwendoline Yeo as Ichika
  • Paul Nakauchi as Morisuke

The remaining cast members set to voice supporting roles can be seen here.