A couple of months ago, we got a first look at The Woman King, the film Viola Davis calls her “magnum opus”. Now, ahead of its September release date, we have a trailer for The Woman King and it does, indeed, look epic and cool. Davis stars as Nanisca, the leader of a band of women warriors from the West African Kingdom of Dahomey. Lashana Lynch, Thuso Mbedu, and Sheila Atim—PLEASE LET HER LIVE THIS TIME—are also featured in the trailer, as is John Boyega as King Ghezo. We see Nanisca imploring Ghezo to meet the threat of invading white people—and slavers—head-on, and lots of training and battle montages. It’s presenting The Woman King as an action movie, and that is undoubtedly part of it, just as heisting was part of Widows, but I bet The Woman King, like Widows, is a lot more than just an action movie. Viola Davis wouldn’t be talking up her role so much if there wasn’t something there for an actor of her caliber.
The Woman King is set for a September 16 release. TIFF starts on September 8. I bet we see this film at TIFF, similar to how Hustlers premiered there in 2019 before opening just days later in September. That wasn’t a recipe for success for Hustlers, a criminally overlooked movie by many people (not unlike Widows). Hopefully, it works out better for The Woman King. One thing about the box office bounce happening now, it sort of feels like any film can hit at any time, and the usual wisdom doesn’t apply (July 4 isn’t usually a big box office weekend, but the Minions just blew that up). A surprise September surge for The Woman King would be neat. Especially since everyone (else) failed Hustlers and Widows. Don’t fail daring cross-genre films about badass women doing badass things!
Attached - Viola at an event in London last month.