Viola Davis and Gina Prince-Bythewood recently opened up about the challenges of creating ‘The Woman King’ movie.

Ahead of the Sept. 9 premier of ‘The Woman King’ at the Toronto International Film Festival, and its theater debut on Sept. 16, Viola Davis and Gina Prince-Bythewood  recently discussed the challenges and hurdles that they had to overcome to bring the story to life. The paradigm-shifting film, whose announcement made a big splash online earlier this year, is a powerful historical epic about  an all-female army called the the Agojie. The setting of the movie unfolds in the West African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 18th and 19th centuries.



A Novel Concept

In a conversation with “The Hollywood Reporter” the duo talked about the hurdles that they experienced while trying to make the film a reality, and how much the new concept of the film posed a potential challenge to the overall production.

“The part of the movie that we love is also the part of the movie that is terrifying to Hollywood, which is, it’s different, it’s new,” Davis says. “We don’t always want different or new, unless you have a big star attached, a big male star. We didn’t have that going on for “The Woman King.” [Hollywood studios] like it when women are pretty and blond or close to pretty and blond. All of these women are dark. And they’re beating the shit out of men. So there you go.”


Davis also went on to admit that her role for the movie came at a time when she was trying to reinvent herself as an actress.

“I’m in a period of redefining myself for myself,” said Davis. “My Blackness, my womanhood, my nose, my lips. I reject everything anyone ever said about me. And I didn’t know that I had the power to do that.”


Prince-Bythewood, who has a background in sports and athleticism also discussed the physical challenges that the crew had to endure while filming, and the arduous training that went into filming. The seasoned director also opened up about the COVID-19 omicron variant, which many cast members were exposed to while shooting the movie. Both Davis and Prince-Bythewood hope that “The Woman King” will reach a vast demography of viewers. The movie is set to premier around 3,000 theaters in the United States on Sept. 16. Watch the official trailer by Sony Pictures Entertainment below.