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Lupita Nyong’o and Viola Davis’ African Power Epic ‘The Woman King’ Picked Up by TriStar

Davis and Nyong’o will star as a general and her daughter in female-fronted historical drama

TriStar has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to “The Woman King,” a female-fronted epic that will star Lupita Nyong’o and Viola Davis in a true-story tale about Benin warriors in colonial-era Africa.

Davis and Nyong’o will play Nanisca and Nawi, a mother and daughter living in the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Nanisca is the general of the Amazons, an all-female military unit, and fights alongside her daughter against both neighboring tribes and French forces that threaten to destroy their homeland.

“The Woman King is the powerful true story of an extraordinary mother-daughter relationship,” said Hannah Minghella, President of TriStar Pictures. “And there’s no-one more extraordinary than Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o to bring them to life.”

“‘Black Panther’ just showed us how the power of imagination and lore could reveal a world without gender and racial stereotypes,” added producer Cathy Schulman of Welle Entertainment.  “‘The Woman King’ will tell one of history’s greatest forgotten stories from the real world in which we live, where an army of African warrior women staved off slavery, colonialism and inter-tribal warfare to unify a nation.”

Schulman will produce with Davis, Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions, and Maria Bello of Jack Blue Productions. Minghella and Nicole Brown will oversee the project for TriStar.

Davis is represented by CAA, the Lasher Group, and Litcher, Grossman, Nichols, and Adler & Feldman. Nyong’o is represented by Del Shaw and CAA.