Viola Davis has given no shortage of great performances—and at least one baffling one, with whatever she’s doing in The First Lady—but her new film already has people spun up about the epicness of her role. Back during CinemaCon, Davis won the “Trailblazer of the Year” award, and she showed up to collect and also promote her next film, The Woman King. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Woman King is about the “Dahomey Amazons”, known in their own language as “ahosi” or “Mino”, a group of women warriors who defended the Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa through the 19th century. If all this sounds vaguely Dora Milaje, then it should, they were inspired by the Mino. Davis stars as Nanisca, leader of the Mino, and she called the role her “magnum opus”, which might be marketing or could really be saying something, given the scope of her work to date.
Empire’s summer issue includes a preview of The Woman King, due in September, and an image of the main cast. In it, we can see Davis, as well as Lashana Lynch, Thuso Mbedu, and Sheila Atim—lately of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and I am BEGGING Hollywood to stop casting Sheila Atim in things only to kill her off immediately. She has such presence on screen, let her live! Let us enjoy her! I hope she makes it all the way to the end of The Woman King. Not pictured is John Boyega, who stars as King Ghezo, or Terence Blanchard, who composed the score. Blanchard is Spike Lee’s composer, and he previously worked with Prince-Bythewood on Love & Basketball. I cannot WAIT to hear what he does with the score for this movie. The September release date gives me pause, it’s not typically a movie-friendly month, but there are a LOT of reasons to look forward to The Woman King.