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Viola Davis is fiercely leading an all-female army into war!

On Wednesday, Sony Pictures Entertainment released a first look at Davis' new film The Woman King, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and written by Dana Stevens.

The movie depicts a real-life army of women warriors of the Agojie, also known as Amazons, and their conquest to defend West African kingdom of Dahomey in present-day Benin during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Oscar and Emmy winner Viola Davis will star as Nanisca, an African commander.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Davis shares her process in preparing for the role:

“We started intensely a few months before shooting—four hours a day, five days a week. Weight training, sprinting, martial arts, and weaponry training for the machete," Davis said. "I like to say that I was the OG warrior.”

The thrilling battling scenes, paired with emotional dialogue was a part of Prince-Bythewood’s vision to empower women. In the interview with Vanity Fair, Davis said,

“We didn’t want to show them as just one thing—badass women who killed. They also laughed and loved and cried. We wanted to show their full humanity, not just the cool part that that would look good in a trailer.”

Davis also contributed as a producer. In her role performing in front of and working behind the camera, she highlighted the significance of telling this story as a woman of color.

“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.”

Davis will star alongside Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Jayme Lawson and Lashana Lynch. The film is set to premiere on September 16.


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