‘The Woman King’, starring Viola Davis, debuts first look photos

The historical epic centered on the Kingdom of Dahomey, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, is set to debut in theaters this fall

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First look photos of The Woman King, starring Viola Davis and Thuso Mbedu, dropped Tuesday.

Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, The Old Guard), The Woman King is a historical epic film that takes viewers into the real-life Kingdom of Dahomey, one of Africa’s most powerful states in the 18th and 19th centuries.

As theGrio previously reported, “the story follows Nanisca (Davis), general of the all-female military unit, and her daughter Nawi, who together fought the French and neighboring tribes who violated their honor, enslaved their people and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.”

23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards - Show
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 03: Viola Davis presents the Hollywood Breakout Performance Award onstage during the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 03, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for HFA)

Davis shared exclusive pics on her Instagram, writing to her followers about her excitement regarding her latest project: “I’m deeply honored and excited to bring this incredible story of these badass female warriors to life. Get ready for THE WOMAN KING, exclusively in movie theaters this Fall!! ???? .”

The post received plenty of love, earning over 500,000 likes and plenty of comments from fellow celebrities. Kerry Washington added hand-clap emojis in the comments, while Rihanna wrote, “Nooooo that’s too far!!! I wanna watch it noooowwww lololol.”

John Boyega, who also appears in the film, wrote to Davis in the comments, “Watching you work everyday has been a blessing! This one is going to be epic! AGOJI!!!”

In addition to Boyega, the film also stars Lashana Lynch, Adrienne Warren, Sheila Atim, Jayme Lawson and Hero Fiennes Tiffin. The final draft of the script was penned by Prince-Bythewood and Dana Stevens, and the film is produced by Davis, Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment, Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions and Maria Bello of Jack Blue Productions.

Tribeca Talks: Gina Prince-Bythewood With Sanaa Lathan - 2021 Tribeca Festival
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 19: Director Gina Prince-Bythewood speaks at the Tribeca Talks: Gina Prince-Bythewood with Sanaa Lathan during the 2021 Tribeca Festival at Spring Studios on June 19, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

In a statement at the time of the film’s announcement, Davis and Tennon shared, “We at JuVee are beyond excited to introduce this incredible story of the Women Warriors of The Dahomey Ahosi tribe to the world. It’s time that they truly occupy their place in history and in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s hands, it will be a gamechanger. This project could not be a more perfect example of our legacy.”

The Woman King is set to debut in theaters Sept. 16.

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