The Woman King Trailer: All Bow To Viola Davis

Love historical dramas about thrilling rulers and royal heroes, but are beyond tired of Elizabethan period pieces set in Europe? Fortunately for us, the Viola Davis-starring "The Woman King" is heading our way, and promises to deliver a story following the real-life female military group known as the Mino that protected the West African Kingdom of Dahomey from roughly 1600 to 1904. The "Fences," "The Suicide Squad," and "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" star leads the group as General Nanisca, the real-life leader of the women's militia that served as the inspiration for the Dora Milaje in Marvel's "Black Panther." We were given our first look at "The Woman King" back in February for the start of Black History Month, with Davis taking to Twitter to express her feelings about starring in the film.

"I'm deeply honored and excited to bring this incredible story of these badass female warriors to life," Davis said. "Get ready for 'The Woman King,' exclusively in movie theaters this fall!!" The images were striking and showcase an intense portrayal of strength and power from Davis and her regime, including Thuso Mbedu ("The Underground Railroad," "Is'thunzi") as Nawi, a young recruit who joins Nanisca's unit with ambitious fervor and the always incredible Lashana Lynch ("Captain Marvel," "No Time to Die"). Joining the trio is John Boyega ("Star Wars," "Small Axe") who is playing King Ghezo, the monarch of Dahomey. "The Woman King" is history in the making, and we're happy to say the trailer looks more than worth the hype.

The Woman King trailer

"The Woman King" is being directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Love & Basketball," "The Secret Life of Bees," "The Old Guard") who co-wrote the script with Dana Stevens ("City of Angels," "Fatherhood"). In an interview with Vanity Fair, Davis acknowledged the importance not only of her role in the story but of the film's place in the world of film:

"I've never had a role like this before. It's transformative. And to be a producer on it, and to know that I had a hand in bringing it to fruition. [...] There's always a vision you have for your career, but there are very few roles as an actress of color. Dark skin with a wide nose and big lips. I'm just gonna continue to say it. Those stories are extraordinarily limited. [...] I knew what it would mean to us as Black people. Something that has never been done before. And what it would mean for Black women sitting in that movie theater. The responsibility is really high."

"The Woman King" was announced in the wake of the success of "Black Panther" and thanks to pandemic-related delays, it's only now that we're finally getting to see the story come to life. It's a shame that it took a massive blockbuster movie to prove to studios that stories featuring dark-skinned, warrior women were worth telling, but hopefully "The Woman King" becomes the success it surely deserves to be and the film will help pave the way for even more stories of the rich, remarkable history of Africa's historical figures.

"The Woman King" will debut in theaters on September 16, 2022.