Photo by Debra Lopez
By Justin Kroll
TriStar Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to the feature film “The Woman King,” inspired by true events and based on an original story by Maria Bello, starring Viola Davisand Lupita Nyong’o.
The film is produced by Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment, Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions, and Bello of Jack Blue Productions.
“‘The Woman King’ is the powerful true story of an extraordinary mother-daughter relationship,” said Hannah Minghella, president of TriStar Pictures. “And there’s no-one more extraordinary than Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o to bring them to life.”
Inspired by true events that took place in the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries, “The Woman King” tells the story of Nanisca (Davis), general of the all-female military unit known as the Amazons, and her daughter Nawi (Nyong’o), who together fought the French and neighboring tribes who violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.
“‘The Woman King’ has the potential to be a game changer for women of color everywhere,” said Tennon. “Viola and our team at JuVee are beyond excited to partner with Sony/TriStar to bring these fierce women to the big screen.”
Minghella and Nicole Brown will oversee the project for TriStar Pictures.
“‘Black Panther’ just showed us how the power of imagination and lore could reveal a world without gender and racial stereotypes,” said Schulman. “‘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.”
April Yvette Thompson