DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Jayme Lawson, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Masali Baduza are joining TriStar’s Gina Prince-Bythewood directed historical African epic The Woman King which stars Oscar winner Viola Davis.
“We are so lucky to catch these three rising phenoms who are bringing their incredible passion and talent to this beautiful ensemble,” said Prince-Bythewood.
The pic is based on 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 the all-female military unit, and Nawi (International Emmy nominated Thuso Mbedu), an ambitious recruit, who together fought enemies who violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for. Lawson will play the ambitious and cunning head wife to Dahomey’s ruler, King Ghezo, played by John Boyega. As the warrior cast is being rounded out, Adrienne Warren and Sheila Atim will play warriors in Nanisca’s elite unit.
Dana Stevens wrote the original screenplay off her draft with Prince-Bythewood. Pic is being produced by Oscar winner Cathy Schulman though her Welle Entertainment. Schulman is currently the EP and show runner of Showtime’s upcoming series The First Lady, which also stars Davis and Lawson as Michelle Obama.
Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions and Maria Bello of Jack Blue Productions are also producing.
Lawson made her feature film debut in Farewell Amor last year and she’ll next appear in Matt Reeves’ The Batman as Bella Real opposite Robert Pattinson.
Fiennes Tiffin broke out in the box office hit After trilogy, based on the Anna Todd novels. His other film credits include The Silencing, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Annabelle Wallis and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. He will next be seen in First Love, opposite Diane Kruger and Jeffrey Donovan.
South African actress Baduza most recently starred in the BBC’s critically acclaimed dystopian drama Noughts + Crosses, based on Malorie Blackman’s best-selling YA novels. She also starred in South African crime thriller Trackers, which was M-Net’s top performing show for 2019.
Lawson is repped by UTA and Gang Tyre. Fiennes Tiffin is repped by ICM Partners, Vybe Trybe, The Artists Partnership in the UK, and Ziffren Brittenham. Baduza is repped by ICM Partners, The Artists Partnership and Artistes Personal Management.