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Your Guide To The Woman King

June 4th, 2022Your Guide To The Woman King


The period action thriller is a genre that dates back, pretty much, as far as cinema has existed, but has experienced relatively short bursts in popularity and acclaim in more recent years. However, we may be in the middle of a resurgence for the genre with the upcoming release of THE WOMAN KING.

There is much reason to believe that this historical epic is going to be the visually stunning and also abundantly informative thrill ride that audiences have been waiting for, particularly with the talent involved behind the camera and in front of the camera — not to mention its factual origins. So, what is the story behind THE WOMAN KING? Allow us to answer that question and more for you with our guide to everything you need to know about this film, starting with when its reign begins.

The Woman King Rules September

It was in March 2018 when TriStar Pictures acquired the rights to make THE WOMAN KING and development of the project officially began. At that point, Academy Award® winner and STAR WARS actor Lupita Nyong’o was attached to star, which would have been a fitting choice considering her role in BLACK PANTHER and how that film is similarly rooted in African culture — but more on both of those topics later.

Principal photography on the film would begin in November 2021 in South Africa and, that same month, it was given an official release date of Friday, September 16, 2022. Audiences have until the fall to prepare to witness the true story behind THE WOMAN KING.

Inspired By True Events

THE WOMAN KING is more than just an epic return — or continuance, we should say — of the period action thriller’s reign at the cinema. It also marks a grand new moment for the historical action thriller, in the sense that the film is, indeed, based on true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, which was one of the most powerful states in the continent of Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries.

THE WOMAN KING will focus primarily on the kingdom’s conflict with the French army, as well as other African tribes, that made slaves out of their people and tried to destroy their way of life and everything they stood for. At the front of this war were the Amazons – the all-female military led by General Nanisca, who will be brought to life in the film by one of cinema’s most beloved and respected talents working today.

Viola Davis Leads The Talented Cast

An actor known for playing powerful people — such as Amanda Waller in DC’s THE SUICIDE SQUAD and Annalise Keating on “How To Get Away With Murder” — is Academy Award winner Viola Davis, who is continuing to honor that reputation by leading the cast of THE WOMAN KING as General Nanisca. Playing her daughter and fellow warrior Nawi — the role Lupita Nyong’o was previously attached to — is the South African born Thuso Mbedo, making her feature film debut following her breakout role on another fact-based title: the Amazon Prime miniseries “The Underground Railroad.”

Fellow comic book movie stars Lashana Lynch of CAPTAIN MARVEL fame and Jayme Lawson of THE BATMAN fame — who also played a young Viola Davis as Michelle Obama in “The First Lady” — also star in THE WOMAN KING, alongside STAR WARS actor John Boyega as King Ghezo. Other notable cast members include Tony winner Adrienne Warren, fellow “The Underground Railroad” star Sheila Atim and Hero Fiennes Tiffin, who played a young Voldemort in HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE.

Directed By The Old Guard’s Gina Prince-Bythewood

At the helm of THE WOMAN KING is someone with experience in crafting refreshing stories of action thrills and female empowerment — Gina Prince-Bythewood, who most recently directed the Charlize Theron-led fantasy action film, “The Old Guard”, for Netflix in 2020. The California native made her feature-length directorial debut with the romantic 2000 sports drama LOVE & BASKETBALL, followed by 2008’S THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES and BEYOND THE LIGHTS in 2014. She has directed episodes of TV shows such as “The Bernie Mac Show” and the Marvel Comics adaptation, “Cloak and Dagger.”

Prince-Bythewood also co-wrote THE WOMAN KING with Dana Stevens, who made her debut as the scribe of 1993’s Neo-noir thriller, BLINK, which she followed with the 1998 fantasy romance CITY OF ANGELS and director Sam Raimi’s romantic sports drama, FOR LOVE OF THE GAME, the next year. Her other notable film credits include the 2010 Nicholas Sparks adaptation SAFE HAVEN, Netflix’s 2021 dramedy, “Fatherhood”, and the upcoming period piece, THE NIGHTINGALE. Stevens also created the TV shows “What About Brian” and the legal drama, “Reckless.”

Composed By BlacKkKlansman’s Terence Blanchard

Composing the score for THE WOMAN KING is Terence Blanchard, who previously collaborated with Gina Prince-Bythewood on LOVE & BASKETBALL. However, the Grammy Award-winning jazz musician is even better known for scoring many films by Spike Lee, from 1991’s JUNGLE FEVER to BLACKKKLANSMAN to DA FIVE BLOODS — the latter two of which he received Oscar® nominations for. He also scored other recent and acclaimed favorites like HARRIET and ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI.

Also involved in the music department for THE WOMAN KING is Lebo M., who has written five original songs for the movie. The South African native is nothing short of a legend in the music industry for his work writing songs for previous hit films such as all of the THE LION KING movies — including the 1994 original and the remake from 2019 — the 1995 blockbusters CONGO and OUTBREAK, the 2016 jungle adventure, THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, and plenty more.

When is the last time you were this excited to go to the movie theatre to receive a history lesson? With a talented action director at the helm, an acclaimed veteran writer co-penning the script, legendary musicians setting the rhythm and a star-studded cast of some of Hollywood’s most powerful and respected names bringing the story to life, THE WOMAN KING promises to be one of the most entertaining films based on a true story in years. See for yourself when it is released in the fall of 2022.


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