Sisters are doing it for themselves for sure, and with the success of Black Panther, thankfully that trend continues forward. On Thursday, March 1st, TriStar Pictures announced the acquisition of The Woman King, written by Maria Bello (A History of Violence, NCIS) inspired by true events that took place in the African kingdom of Dahomey. Oscar-winners Lupita Nyong’o and Viola Davis star as Nawi and Nanisca respectively. The mother-daughter duo are members of Dahomey’s Amazons. The story reimagines the real-life events where Nanisca and her Amazons fought against French legions, as well as some of Dahomey’s neighboring tribes. The Woman King follows General Nanisca and her battalion as they defend their honor, stave off enslavement and Colonization, as well as protect their way of life.
“‘The Woman King’ has the potential to be a game changer for women of color everywhere.” -Julius Tennon, JuVee Productions
Wakanda may be “forever,” but the one distinction between the two nations is that Dahomey was real! Now known as the country of Benin, the ancient kingdom lasted almost 300 years from 1600 – 1894. Various production houses are on board, including Bello’s Jack Blue Productions, Welle Entertainment, even Viola Davis’ own JuVee Productions. Between the writers, producers, and leading cast, women are heavily involved behind the scenes — we all just saw how well that worked with another group of Amazons.
“Black Panther just showed us how the power of imagination and lore could reveal a world without gender and racial stereotypes. The Woman King will tell one of history’s greatest forgotten stories from the real world in which we live, where an army of African warrior women staved off slavery, colonialism and inter-tribal warfare to unify a nation” says Cathy Schulman of Welle Entertainment. Though only announced recently, you can be certain that we’ll be watching out for news on this one when it arrives.
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Read more from Dom Watkins, right here.