Deadline reports that Starz is developing a series based on the life of African Warrior Queen Nzinga, and Yetide Badaki (American Gods) will star in the leading role.
Badaki will also be serving as an executive producer alongside Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, who stays securing a bag from the network thanks to Power which has now spawned a drug dealing universe of spinoff shows and his latest hit, BMF. Spartacus creator Steven S. DeKnight and Mo Abudu, who runs the Nigerian-based media company EbonyLife, will also serve as executive producers.
The show’s synopsis per Deadline reads:
Queen Nzinga takes place in 17th century Angola and follows her transformation from an innocent princess into a fearless warrior queen who rages a ferocious 40-year guerrilla war against the kingdom’s formidable enemies, and the cruel subjugation of her people by Portuguese slavers. Nzinga would come to sacrifice everything to defend her people’s dignity, liberty and freedom. On seizing the crown, Nzinga, the first-ever female ruler, decreed – “Call me king.”
Thrust into a kingdom ravaged by slavery, ferocious tribal wars and ruthless male power struggles, Nzinga’s journey is thwart with danger at every turn. She faces a brutal family blood-bath, ferocious battles intertwined with deceptive truces, hair-raising escapes, and depraved enemies. With every part of her that she sheds or is stolen from her, she moves one step closer to realizing her dream of freedom and peace for her people.
Badaki spoke about the Lionsgate Television produced show that does not have a showrunner yet.
“It has been a long-held dream of mine to bring the story of Nzinga to the screen. Her courage, determination, and passion resonated from the moment I laid eyes on historical depictions of the legendary queen,” said Badaki told the website. “I am thrilled by Starz’s continued commitment to much-needed stories about and by historically excluded voices and the deeply talented team being built to share this epic narrative with the world.”
“The continent of Africa has a treasure trove of stories that are yet to be told. Queen Nzingha is a story that I have wanted to tell for a long time, so when EbonyLife Studios finally found a home for this project at Starz and Lionsgate, it was a dream come true. We are happy to be at the forefront of forging these new partnerships with such an incredible team of creatives because it is truly about sharing our local stories with a global audience – stories that are historical, authentic, and progressive,” she further added.
Fiddy added, “As G-Unit Film & Television launches more premium, international productions, I couldn’t have found better partners than Mo, Yetide, and Steven to help tell the incredible story of Queen Nzinga.”
It sounds like 50 Cent got another hit on his hands.
Photo: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz83