The wait is finally over, Viola Davis is officially back with much-anticipated action in new production – The Woman King. Based on true events, the historical epic tells the story of General Nansica (Viola Davis), the leader of an all-female militia who defended the West African kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.
” “They will not stop until the whole of Africa is theirs,”.Davis tells King Ghezo (Boyega)
The TriStar Pictures film starring Viola Davis, John Boyega, and The Underground Railroad star Thuso Mbedu, was shot in South Africa. Director Gina Prince-Bythewood of The Old Guard and the 2000s classic Love & Basketball teamed up with screenplay writer Dana Stevens and producers – Cathy Schulman, JuVee’s Productions’ Davis, and Julius Tennon. Plus, Maria Bello from Jack Blues helped to achieve yet another award-worthy action movie.
Thuso Mbedu who plays Nawi, an ambitious recruit joins Nanisca in fighting enemies who violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they have worked hard and lived for. “They will not stop until the whole of Africa is theirs,” Davis tells King Ghezo (Boyega) in the trailer, as European ships prepare to invade the continent. “We must fight back, for our people.” Beyoncé’s “My Power” from the singer’s “Black Is King” album is the selected soundtrack playing over the brutal fight between the colonizers and Davis’s warriors.
The Woman King has been in production since 2018. Viola Davis joined the production that same year. Principal photography began in November 2021 in South Africa with cinematographer Polly Morgan. Terence Blanchard who previously collaborated with Gina Prince-Bythewood on Love & Basketball, composed the musical score during post-production. South African composer Lebo M. composed and produced five original songs for the film. Lebo M is responsible for songwriting and vocal work on the soundtrack of The Lion King and other films. The release date for The Woman King is September 16th, 2022
Speaking to Vanity Fair recently, Viola who’s also a producer of the film said ” “I’ve never had a role like this before. It’s transformative,” “There’s always a vision you have for your career, but there are very few roles as an actress of color. Dark skin with a wide nose and big lips. I’m just going to continue to say it. Those stories are extraordinarily limited.” “I knew what it would mean to us as Black people. Something that has never been done before. And what it would mean for Black women sitting in that movie theater. The responsibility is really high,” she added.
Emmy Award nominee Thuso Mbedu is celebrating the upcoming film feature as part of her huge milestones. This is Mbedu’s 2nd lead role in an international film after The Award-Winning Barry Jenkins film The Underground Railroad. She is also celebrating her birthday on July 8th as well as 10 years since she first landed in New York. Mbedu is now a global Holywood star. This is a huge milestone for any young South African girl who has dreamed of acting all their life.
Some film productions that have been shot in South Africa include Mad Max: Fury Road, Tomb Raider, and Safe House. As well as Raised By The Wolves, Blood & Water, and more.