Though Gina Prince-Bythewood already earned acclaim for previous projects like Love & Basketball and Beyond The Lights, Netflix’s The Old Guard seems to be turning into something of a new breakout hit for her. Just a week or so after that movie premiered, she’s already parlaying her buzz-worthiness into a big historical epic about an all-female military unit in Africa’s Kingdom Of Dahomey in the 18th century (part of modern-day Benin).
As reported by Variety, the project is The Woman King, which we first heard about back in 2018 when Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o were attached to star. Davis is still on board (no word on Nyong’o, unfortunately), and she’ll be playing Nanisca, the leader of the aforementioned unit, who—along with her daughter—fights off invading French colonizers and other tribes “who violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.” So it’s a historical war movie centering on Viola Davis’ squad of female warriors, which seems like a pretty cool setup. In a statement from Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon’s production company, JuVee Productions, they say that it’s time for the women warriors of the Dahomey Ahsoi tribe to “truly occupy their place in history,” adding that the story will be a “gamechanger” in Prince-Bythewood’s hands.