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  • Academy Award-winning actresses Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong'o to star in West African female warrior tale based on true events
  • Culver City, CA – March 1, 2018 -- TriStar Pictures announced today they have acquired worldwide rights to Dahomey Amazons of Benin spartan tale The Woman King, inspired by true events and based on an original story by Maria Bello starring Academy Award-winning actresses Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong'o. The film is produced by Cathy Schulman's Welle Entertainment, Viola Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions, and Maria Bello of Jack Blue Productions.

    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 Woman King tells the story of Nanisca (Davis), General of the all-female military unit known as the Amazons, and her daughter Nawi (Nyong’o), who together fought the French and neighboring tribes who violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.

    "The Woman King is the powerful true story of an extraordinary mother-daughter relationship," said Hannah Minghella, President of TriStar Pictures. "And there’s no-one more extraordinary than Viola Davis and Lupita Nyong’o to bring them to life."

    "The Woman King the potential to be a game changer for women of color everywhere," said Julius Tennon. "Viola and our team at JuVee are beyond excited to partner with Sony/TriStar to bring these fierce women to the big screen."

    Cathy Schulman added "Black Panther just showed us how the power of imagination and lore could reveal a world without gender and racial stereotypes. The Woman King will tell one of history’s greatest forgotten stories from the real world in which we live, where an army of African warrior women staved off slavery, colonialism and inter-tribal warfare to unify a nation."

    Hannah Minghella and Nicole Brown will oversee the project for TriStar Pictures.

    Viola Davis is represented by CAA, the Lasher Group, and Litcher, Grossman, Nichols, and Adler & Feldman. Lupita Nyong'o is represented by Del Shaw and CAA. Maria Bello is represented by UTA and John Carrabino Management.

    About Sony Pictures Entertainment
    Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., which is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. SPE's Motion Picture Group includes film labels Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit .

    About JuVee Productions
    JuVee Productions is an artist driven, Los Angeles-based production company that develops and produces independent film, television, theater, and digital content across all spaces of narrative entertainment. JuVee Productions seeks to produce economical yet premium, sophisticated, and character-driven stories. With an emphasis on producing narratives from a diverse range of emerging and established voices alike, JuVee Productions aims to become the go-to creative hub where the next generation of filmmakers and artists have the space to craft dynamic stories spanning the broad spectrum of humanity.

    About Welle Entertainment
    Academy Award® winning producer Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment is a film and television production and finance company that was created with the mission of developing and producing female facing content that features strong characters and stories and services the female marketplace. Schulman won a Best Picture Oscar in 2006 for "Crash" and recent films under Schulman’s purview include the 2016 hit "Bad Moms,"; the critical darling "The Edge of Seventeen," and "The Foreigner," with Pierce Brosnan and Jackie Chan. Schulman is also the President of Women In Film, Los Angeles.

    About Maria Bello – Storyteller
    Maria Bello is an award-winning actress, activist and producer. Her VR experience, The Sun Ladies, premiered at Sundance. It follows an all-female militia fighting ISIS in Iraq. Her pilot, Relief, based on her work as a disaster relief worker is in development at NBC/Universal with co-creator, Jessica Goldberg. She has executive produced the films, The Journey Is The Destination, In Search of Fellini, and Glo.

    Sony Pictures Entertainment
    Tahra Grant-Gale