‘The Old Guard’s’ Gina Prince-Bythewood to Direct ‘Woman King’ Starring Viola Davis
In the wake of Netflix recently streaming Skydance’s Old Guard, that pic’s director Gina Prince-Bythewood is looking to direct The Woman King at TriStar for Oscar winner Viola Davis.
The movie is set in The Kingdom of Dahomey, which was a powerful state of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Davis will play Nanisca, the general of an all-female military unit, who alongside her daughter Nawi, crusade against the French and regional tribes who violated their honor, enslaved their people and threatened to destroy everything they’re about.
Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment is producing with Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions and Maria Bello of Jack Blue Productions.
Gina Prince-Bythewood is set to direct TriStar Pictures’ “The Woman King,” starring Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis.
The film is a historical epic 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 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.
The pic is being produced by Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment, Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions and Maria Bello of Jack Blue Productions.
“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,” said Davis and Tennon.
Prince-Bythewood has directed and written such influential films as “Love & Basketball,” “The Secret Life of Bees” and “Beyond the Lights.”
Most recently, Prince-Bythewood directed the Netflix and Skydance’s action-drama “The Old Guard,” with Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne leading the cast. The Netflix original, based on the comic book series by author Greg Rucka and illustrator Leandro Fernández, debuted on the streaming platform last Friday and drew praise from critics and audiences alike. Prince-Bythewood’s other credits include the special event series “Shots Fired,” on which she and her husband, Reggie Rock Bythewood, served as series creators and executive producers.
Prince-Bythewood is repped by CAA and attorney Nina Shaw of Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.
This article originally appeared in Variety on July 14, 2020.