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The Woman King’s ‘Big Battles’ Inspired by Braveheart and Gladiator: ‘Now We Can Make Ours,’ Says Gina Prince-Bythewood – Exclusive Image | Movies

As far as examples of iconic cinematic battle scenes go, they don’t get much bigger and better than those in the 1995 William Wallace drama. Brave heart (think the Battle of Falkirk, with its flaming arrows and fierce sword fights) or Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning Gladiator (think of the initial battle of the Romans against the Germanic tribes, all facing shields and horses at full speed). The thrill of watching two rival armies race towards each other across a battlefield is one we’ve seen time and time again on the big screen.

With a new historical epic The female kingdirector Gina Prince-Bythewood brings us a kind of battle we’ve rarely (if ever) seen before, fought entirely by the dark-skinned black women who made up the Agojie, the true all-female military force in South Africa. ‘ West – and classics like Gladiator and Brave heart are exactly where she draws her inspiration. “It was like our Braveheartsays Prince-Bythewood. “Brave heart is one of my favorite movies. But we don’t see each other like that. But that is about to change.

Set in 1823, the film sheds light on the incredible story of the Agojie and how they defended the West African kingdom of Dahomey from the 17th to the 19th century, starring Viola Davis as General Nanisca. As you’d expect – and as the powerful trailer recently released shows – there’s plenty of action to look forward to, including massive conflict between the Dahomey and Oyo empires, shot over 11 days in South Africa. South. “I just thought of all those great battles in Brave heart Where Gladiator“recalls Prince-Bythewood. “And now we have to do ours. On paper, it’s a sequence of ten pages. We had thousands of extras coming together in an epic David vs. Goliath battle which is one of my favorite sequences in the film.

Such intense filming takes its toll, as star Lashana Lynch, who plays the fearsome Lieutenant Agojie Izogie, explains. “Although I’ve done stunts before, I never got the chance to completely do my own stunts,” Lynch says. “From start to finish, I didn’t want my stunt man to have a blast. We got up on days when we literally wanted to vomit, but knew we weren’t allowed to. No one wanted to drop the side. Judging by the exclusive image above of Lynch in action as Izogie, she did a pretty good job with those stunts. We certainly wouldn’t have imagined our chances in a fight…

Lily Empireis full The female king feature in the next Dragon House issue – on sale Thursday, August 4 and available for pre-order online here. The female king arrives in UK cinemas from 4 October.