'The Woman King': John Boyega Joins Viola Davis in the Period Drama

The Golden Globe Award-winning actor John Boyega has joined Viola Davis as a cast member of the historical epic The Woman King, The Hollywood Reporter reported. The British known from the Star Wars sequel trilogy will reportedly join a (so far) female cast of the movie.

Here’s what we know about the film. 

What is ‘The Woman King’ about?

The movie is based on a story from the Kingdom of Dahomey. Dahomey was a West African empire of the 18th and 19th centuries based in the modern-day country, Benin. It will focus on the Dahomey Amazons, an all-female group of warriors. 

The Woman King’s story will revolve around a mother-daughter duo Nanisca and Nawi. Nanisca is a general of the Dahomey Amazons and her daughter Nawi is a new recruit in the group.

Together they fight the French and neighboring tribes who violate their honor, enslave their people, and threaten to destroy everything they live for, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Maria Bello’s Jack Blue Productions, along with Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment, and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions have produced the film.

Schulman, in the interview with EW, exemplified Marvel’s Black Panther while talking about the movie. “Black Panther just showed us how the power of imagination and lore could reveal a world without gender and racial stereotypes,” Schulman said.

She confirmed that the movie told a real and powerful story that got lost over the years.

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.”

Who are the cast members of the film?

The story about the powerful all-female warriors boasts a strong cast of actors. Academy Award-winning actor Viola Davis will play the role of Nanisca, the Dahomey Amazon general. The Underground Railroad actor Thuso Mbedu will play Nanisca’s daughter Nawi in the movie. 

Earlier, Nawi’s role belonged to Academy Award-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o. However, for undisclosed reasons, Mbedu is now on the cast call list. Another actor to join the cast is Lashana Lynch. Lynch also features as 007 in the upcoming Bond film, No Time To Die.

Adding to the girl power in the movie is Gina Prince-Bythewood, who will direct the movie. Prince-Bythewood, who directed the Netflix movie The Old Guard, will now direct The Woman King. She also co-wrote the screenplay with Dana Stevens, based on Stevens’ original screenplay.

Boyega will, reportedly, play the part of King Ghezo. Prince-Bythewood wanted to work with Boyega for quite some time. She believes that he can pull off King Ghezo’s character with ease.

“I have been enamored by John’s[Boyega] immense talent for years, but his speech to Black women during the protests cemented my desire to work with him,” Prince-Bythewood told The Hollywood Reporter. “The description of King Ghezo reads, ‘He walks as if the Earth were honored by his burden.’ John[Boyega] possesses that innate depth and swagger, and I’m so excited to put it on screen.”

  When will ‘The Woman King’ release?

 TriStar Pictures bought the distribution rights to the movie but has not announced the release date so far. TriStar has three movies, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Matilda, and The Nightingale lined up for release until December 2022. 

As a result, The Woman King might not release until 2023.

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