Viola Davis Plays an African Warrior in 'The Woman King' Trailer - Rolling Stone
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‘Her Reign Begins Now’: See Viola Davis as an African Warrior in ‘The Woman King’ Trailer

The historical epic follows a group of all-female warriors fighting for their nation.

Viola Davis makes a stunning transformation in the new trailer for The Woman King, where she plays Nanisca, leader of the all-female warriors known as the Agojie.

The trailer, which plays out against a backdrop of Beyoncé’s “My Power” from the Black is King album, shows Davis’ Nanisca rallying the Agojie as they prepare to fight for their home. “Her reign begins now,” the title card teases.

“We must fight back for our people,” Nanisca says in the trailer. “Some things are worth fighting for.”

Based on true events, The Woman King follows General Nanisca and the fighters who protected the Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s as she trains the next generation of warriors in order to defend themselves against invading colonialists.

“I offer you a choice: fight, or we die,” Nanisca tells her recruits.

The Agojie warriors, sometimes referred to as the Dahomey Amazons, were an all-female army that protected the Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa, modern-day Benin, from the 17th century until their disbandment in the late 19th century. Their army was known for their fearless defense of their kingdom from threats both near and far.

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,” Producer Cathy Schulman said of the film.

Gina Prince-Bythewood, director of Love & Basketball and The Old Guard, also takes up the mantle in this production. Other stars include Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, and Hero Fiennes Tiffin. John Boyega also stars as Dahomey ruler King Ghezo.

The Woman King makes its debut in theatres on September 16.

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