John Boyega has joined Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, and Lashawna Lynch in The Woman King for TriStar Pictures.
Gina Prince Bythewood is directing and Dana Stevens wrote the original screenplay with the current draft being by Stevens and Prince-Bythewood.
The film is a historical epic inspired by actual events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey. It is one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. The story follows Nanisca (Davis), the general of the all-female military unit, and her daughter Nawi . They fought the French and neighboring tribes who violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.
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Mbedu is cast as Nawi, taking over for the role Lupita Nyongo was once cast in. Lynch will play a charming veteran warrior. Boyega will play Dahomey’s ruler, King Ghezo.
“I have been enamored by John’s immense talent for years, but his speech to Black women during the protests cemented my desire to work with him,” said Prince-Bythewood in a statement. “The description of King Ghezo reads, ‘He walks as if the earth were honored by its burden.’ John possesses that innate depth and swagger, and I’m so excited to put it on screen.”
Davis and Julius Tennon will produce The Woman King via their JuVee Productions
“We at JuVee are beyond excited to introduce this incredible story of the Women Warriors of The Dahomey Ahosi tribe to the world. It’s time that they truly occupy their place in history and in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s hands, it will be a gamechanger. This project could not be a more perfect example of our legacy,” said Davis and Tennon.
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Cathy Schulman will also produce via her Welle Entertainment, along with Maria Bello of Jack Blue Productions. Nicole Brown and Shary Shirazi are overseeing the project for TriStar Pictures.