The King Woman director Gina Prince-Bythewood provokes a Brave Heartmedium-sized battle in your next historical epic. Originally based on a story developed by A history of violence starring Maria Bello, the film is inspired by the true story of the Amazon warriors of Dahomey, also known as Agojie or Mino, a female regiment from the Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa. The legend of her ferocity inspired the creation of the woman Dora Milaje in Black Panther Marvel Comics series. The King Woman was written by the director together with Dana Stevens.
Viola Davis stars as General Nanisca, the strong and capable leader of the Agojie under King Ghezo, played by attack the block star John Boyega. The King Woman centers on Nanisca, who leads her army against rival kingdoms, as well as an invasion by European forces. Set in 1823, at the beginning of King Ghezo’s reign, the Agojie see their strength grow under their new ruler as they are tasked with taking on the Oyo Empire. Starring alongside Davis is captain marvel stars Lashana Lynch as Lieutenant Izogie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness stars Sheila Atim as Lieutenant Amenza, and The Underground Railroad lead Thuso Mbedu as Nawi, a young recruit.
when talking to EmpirePrince-Bythewood recalls a Brave Heartoversized battle sequence filmed for The King Woman. According to the director, she was inspired by the epic war scenes from Ridley Scott’s old Roman action drama, Gladiator, as well as the historical epic directed by Mel Gibson in 1995 Brave Heart, about Sir William Wallace’s War of Independence against King Edward I of England. Prince-Bythewood claims that The King Woman features a battle sequence with the Oyo Empire that spanned a full ten pages of script and required thousands of extras to faithfully bring to the big screen. Read how the director describes the scene below:
It looked like our Braveheart. Braveheart is one of my favorite movies. But we can’t see each other like that. […]
I just thought about all those big battles in Braveheart or Gladiator. And now let’s do ours. On paper, it’s a ten-page sequence. We had thousands of extras teaming up with each other in an epic David vs. Goliath battle that is one of my favorite sequences in the movie.
Brave Heart featured thousands of extras in a choreographed dance of swords, armor and blood to fully realize the scale of late 13th century warfare, and a melee warfare sequence as Prince-Bythewood describes would surely put The King Woman at that level. Both Brave Heart and Gladiator used real people in real settings to simulate real battles from the past, but with a typical Hollywood twist. With the provocation of Prince-Bythewood, The King Woman is becoming a sword-and-sandal epic like Hollywood hasn’t seen in years.
Modern movies rarely employ hundreds, let alone thousands, of extras for movie sequels. Modern filmmaking techniques allow directors to use visual effects to simulate thousands of warriors on the battlefield with only a fraction of the actors appearing in the film. Scenes with crowds of soldiers in films like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies actually had extras that were duplicated, and TV shows like Ted Lasso can now fill an entire stadium in post-production. the warrior king‘s dedication to realism and authenticity shows that the film will be unforgettable when it opens in theaters next month.