John Boyega Joins Viola Davis In The Woman King, A Historical Epic From The Old Guard Director

John Boyega will be starring in "The Woman King," a TriStar Pictures feature that is inspired by true events from the Kingdom of Dahomey, an African nation that held significant power in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Boyega joins actors Viola Davis and Thuso Mbedu in the movie, which will be directed by "The Old Guard" filmmaker, Gina Prince-Bythewood.

An Epic Film Based on Real Events

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of Boyega's casting. The epic film follows Nanisca (Davis), the general of the all-female military unit in Dahomey, and her ambitious recruit, Nawi (Mbedu). The two fight side-by-side in the film against those who enslaved their people and violated their honor.

Boyega will be playing the Kingdom of Dahomey's ruler, King Ghezo. Prince-Bythewood gushed about Boyega's casting to THR:

"I have been enamored by John's immense talent for years, but his speech to Black women during the protests cemented my desire to work with him. The description of King Ghezo reads, 'He walks as if the earth were honored by its burden.' John possesses that innate depth and swagger, and I'm so excited to put it on screen."

This is great news for Boyega fans, many of whom worried he might have trouble getting work after his vocal criticism of how the "Star Wars" franchise treated his character, Finn, in the recent Skywalker trilogy.

Dana Stevens wrote the original screenplay for "The Woman King," though the current draft credits both Stevens and Prince-Bythewood. The producers of the project are Cathy Schulman via Welle Entertainment, Davis and Julius Tennon via JuVee Productions, and Maria Bello via Jack Blue.

In an earlier statement, Davis and Tennon shared their excitement about the project:

We at JuVee are beyond excited to introduce this incredible story of the Women Warriors of The Dahomey Ahosi tribe to the world. It's time that they truly occupy their place in history and in Gina Prince-Bythewood's hands, it will be a gamechanger. This project could not be a more perfect example of our legacy.

Dahomey's Women Warriors, according to UNESCO, most likely emerged because of Dahomey faced large male casualties and was still threatened by the neighboring Kingdom of Oyo. Under King Ghezo, who ruled form 1818 to 1858, enrollment in the all-female military took place every three years, with representatives of the king going village to village to select the most promising 12 to 15-year-old girls to join the group.

No news yet on when "The Woman King" will go into production, much less make its way to theaters.