Chad Stahelski, the director of John Wick, is collaborating with Netflix on a Black Samurai film. Stahelski, a former stunt coordinator, made his directorial debut in 2014 with the Keanu Reeves hitman flick John Wick. The action-packed film about an assassin seeking vengeance became a surprise hit, making $86 million at the box office.
But, as unexpected as it was for John Wick to be so successful, restoring Reeves’ career while cementing Stahelski like an action director to be reckoned with, it was also unexpected for the picture to create an entire franchise. But it did generate a series, with both John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum outperforming the first film at the box office. John Wick: Chapter 4 will be released next year, with both Stahelski and Reeves returning for more mayhem. The Continental, based on the hotel where the film’s enigmatic assassins stay, will be a TV spinoff.
But, as important as John Wick has been to Stahelski, it appears he is ready to move on to new projects. The filmmaker’s next project is a collaboration with Netflix on Black Samurai, a film based on Marc Olden’s novel series. The script will be written by Leigh Dana Jackson (Rising Dion). Black Samurai was earlier turned as a 1977 film starring Jim Kelly and was set to be a Starz series starring Common until the deal fell through. In the area below, read the Netflix summary for Black Samurai:
“The Black Samurai novels, a series of books by the famed thriller writer Marc Olden, introduce Robert Sand, an American soldier in Japan who learns the ways of the most powerful martial arts, and becomes The Black Samurai, embarking on a mission to stop dangerous forces who threaten everything he holds dear.”
Why is Stahelski ideal for Black Samurai?
Stahelski’s considerable expertise as a stunt double and stunt director clearly suited him to direct John Wick. Stahelski has advanced the technique of fight choreography with each John Wick film, with Reeves as the action hero there at center. Now, with Black Samurai, Stahelski gets much closer to the wellspring of martial arts action, addressing a subject that was inspired by 1970s martial arts films and was originally made into a blaxploitation masterpiece.
Given all of the violence and action in Black Samurai, it’s difficult to think of a director better suited to the subject than Stahelski. It’s not only that Stahelski is an expert at choreographing and performing sophisticated and exciting fight scenes; he’s also constantly prepared to push the edge when it comes to conjuring up increasingly elaborate and bizarre physical battles. So, with Stahelski at the helm, Netflix’s Black Samurai will almost certainly feature cutting-edge action. It also helps because Stahelski is now experienced in other critical parts of filmmaking, such as working with actors. Stahelski’s presence on Black Samurai should be welcomed by fans of the original novels hoping for a thrilling and successful adaptation.