Viola Davis to star in The Woman King

Viola DavisViola Davis is set to star in historical epic, The Woman King, to be helmed by The Old Guard director Gina Prince-Bythewood.

According to a report by Variety, the historical film is inspired by events that took place in the Kingdom of Dahomey, known as one of the most powerful states of Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. Davis will play the role of Nanisca, the general of the all-female military unit, and her daughter, Nawi, both of whom fought against the French and neighboring tribes who “violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.”

The film will be produced by Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment, Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions and Maria Bello of Jack Blue Productions.

Davis and Tennon shared their excitement about the project in a statement, saying:

“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.”

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s most recent project is the Netflix action-drama, The Old Guard, starring Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne. As previously reported, the film is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez and centers on a group of immortal soldiers who have been secretly protecting our world for centuries. But when the group is exposed to the rest of the world, their new recruit Nile (Layne) resolves to save the team from those who seek to exploit them.

Davis is a multi-award winning actress, having won the Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Awards during her illustrious career. She recently spoke to Vanity Fair about regretting her role in The Help and her commitment to telling more authentic and empowering Black stories. The Woman King is going to be one of the projects in line with this vision.

Watch this space for more updates about The Woman King.