Viola Davis’ “Woman King” set to premiere as a summer blockbuster

by Ezekiel J. Walker
Viola Davis' "Woman King" set to premiere as a summer blockbuster
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Viola Davis is planning her return to the big screen with a vengeance. She’s set to star in The Woman King on Sept. 16 in a once-in-a-lifetime role that she knows will reverberate throughout the culture.

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of BeesLove & Basketball) debuted the movie trailer for The Woman King at this year’s CinemaCon.

But what is it about?

Davis plays the role of Nanisca, the general that led an all-female military unit to fight against enemies of The Kingdom of Dahomey. 

The historical epic is inspired by the true events that happened in The Kingdom of Dahomey (present-day southern Benin), one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.

“She is everything we believe her to be, and she kicks ass in this film,” said Prince-Bythewood.

Viola Davis was given her flowers at CinemaCon for “Woman King”

“Viola Davis has been championing this movie as a producer since Day one,” said TriStar Pictures President Nicole Brown at CinemaCon, during The Woman King CinemaCon session.

While the film’s director Gina Prince-Bythewood came out to introduce the film, the whole session morphed into an introduction to Davis, who was lauded with the CinemaCon Trailblazer of the Year.

A sizzle reel of Davis’ work from Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, and other films played before the Oscar-winning actress took the stage.

Davis told Deadline that Cecily Tyson was her inspiration.

I just knew that when I was 9 years old and I saw [her] for the first time and saw that vision jump out of the screen, the radical power that gave me to believe in something bigger than my world, it touched down and landed in me and it landed in a generation of artists. And I wanted to do that in my work as an actor. I wanted to play characters that have never been seen before in a body that looked like mine… and be a producer who championed those stories with people, with a history that looked like me.”

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