BY BORYS KIT, The Hollywood Reporter
Adrienne Warren, the newly minted best actress in a musical at Sunday’s Tony Awards for her work in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, and Olivier Award-winning actress Sheila Atim, have joined the cast of The Woman King, a historical epic from TriStar.
Viola Davis and Thuso Mbedu are toplining the drama that also counts Lashana Lynch and John Boyega on the roll call.
Gina Prince-Bythewood, who most recently directed Netflix’s sci-fi actioner The Old Guard, is on board to helm the feature that will begin shooting in November in South Africa.
Per the studio, the project is inspired by true events that took place in the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. The story follows Nanisca (Davis), general of an all-female military unit, and Nawi (Mbedu), an ambitious recruit, who together fight enemies who violated their honor, enslaved their people and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.
Warren and Atim will play warriors in Nanisca’s elite unit.
Dana Stevens wrote the original screenplay, with the current draft from Stevens and Prince-Bythewood.
Producing are Cathy Schulman via her Welle Entertainment, Davis and Julius Tennon via JuVee Productions and Maria Bello via her banner, Jack Blue.
Warren starred as iconic singer Turner in Tina, which, on top of Sunday’s Tony, has earned her Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Antonyo awards. Warren also received a special Tony Award this year for her work as co-founder of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, which was founded by members of the Broadway Community as a direct response to racism and police brutality in the U.S. The actress will return to her acclaimed starring role for a limited engagement when Tina reopens at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Oct. 8.
Atim appeared with Mbedu in Barry Jenkins’ acclaimed limited series, The Underground Railroad. She will be seen in Bruised, the directorial debut of actress Halle Berry, as well as the live-action retelling of Disney’s Pinocchio from Robert Zemeckis.
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