The Woman King might not have been one of the films on your must-see movies shortlist, but if it wasn’t, it should be now. Based on the new trailer, the story is compelling, and the visual style and the costume design are equally appealing. The movie’s a historical action drama. To make things even more exciting, it’s based on real events from history.

It tells the story of General Nanisca from the kingdom of Dahomey. Dahomey doesn't exist anymore, but if it did, it’d be somewhere in present-day Benin, between Togo and Nigeria. When Europeans appeared, the people of Dahomey were unsure of their intentions. Did they want to take slaves, or colonize the whole of Africa? Either way, General Nanisca, and her all-woman army would do their best to avert either crisis.

The official plot synopsis is as follows:

The Woman King is the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. Inspired by true events, The Woman King follows the emotionally epic journey of General Nanisca (Oscar®-winner Viola Davis) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life. Some things are worth fighting for…

The film’s story was written by Maria Bello, who initially pitched the idea in front of a crowd at an award show where Viola Davis was in attendance. Davis would go on to star in The Woman King as General Nanisca. Gina Prince-Bythewood is directing. The ensemble cast includes Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and John Boyega.

After she got the role, Viola Davis began preparing to portray General Nanisca immediately. A lot of people were amazed at the incredibly drastic physical transformation she underwent ahead of the role. She reported to Vanity Fair that:

We started intensely a few months before shooting—four hours a day, five days a week. Weight training, sprinting, martial arts, and weaponry training for the machete. I like to say that I was the OG warrior.

The Woman King is currently planned for a release on September 16, 2022.

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