In the action-packed “The Woman King” trailer, Viola Davis commands respect.
The planned historical epic about an all-female army of African warriors is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.
In the suspenseful first trailer for “The Woman King,” Viola Davis is prepared for battle (and another Academy Award).
The historical epic chronicles the tale of General Nansica (Davis), the commander of an all-female militia who up until the 20th century protected the West African kingdom Dahomey in modern-day Benin. The Dora Milaje in Marvel’s “Black Panther” was famously modeled after the elite warriors known as the Agojie.
Gina Prince-Bythewood, who also co-wrote and directed the 2000s classic “Love & Basketball” and Netflix’s “The Old Guard,” also stars Lashana Lynch, Thuso Mbedu, and John Boyega in the movie.
As European ships get ready to conquer the continent, Davis warns King Ghezo (Boyega), “They won’t stop until all of Africa is theirs.” For the sake of our people, we must fight back.
And fight they do, with Beyoncé’s “My Power” from the singer’s “Black Is King” album playing in the background as Davis and her fellow warriors retaliate brutally against the colonizers.
According to the official summary, Nanisca and new recruit Nawi (Mbedu) work together to combat foes with “talent and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen” who “violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.”
“This is a part I’ve never played before. According to Davis, who is also a producer on the movie, it is transforming, as she recently told Vanity Fair.
“There’s always a professional goal you have in mind, but there aren’t many opportunities available for actresses of color. Big lips and a wide nose go well with a dark complexion. I’m just going to keep saying it. The number of those stories is incredibly small.
“I was aware of the implications for Black people. anything new, never done before. and what it would imply for the Black ladies watching the film there. The level of responsibility is very high, she continued.
The “How To Get Away with Murder” alum spent months preparing to become the terrifying general, engaging in weight lifting, running, martial arts practice, and weaponry training “four hours a day, five days a week.”
The part follows Davis’ underwhelming portrayal of Michelle Obama in Showtime’s anthology series “The First Lady,” which garnered some of the lowest reviews of her career.
When asked about the response to the role, Davis said, “How do you move on from the hurt, from failure?” You must, I say. Not every performance will be one that deserves recognition.
But she just could have another with “The Woman King,” which hits theatres on September 16.
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