[12/16/21 - 10:00 AM]
Starz in Development on "Queen Nzinga" Executive Produced by Yetide Badaki, Mo Abudu, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Steven S. DeKnight
The scripted drama series will chronicle the amazing life of the famed African Warrior Queen to be played by Badaki.

[via press release from Starz]



Santa Monica, Calif. - December 16, 2021 - STARZ announced today it is in development on "Queen Nzinga" executive produced by Yetide Badaki ("Army Of The Dead: Lost Vegas," "American Gods"), Mo Abudu (Òlòtūré, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel), Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson ("Power" Universe, "BMF") and Steven S. DeKnight ("Spartacus," "Daredevil"). The scripted drama series will chronicle the amazing life of the famed African Warrior Queen to be played by Badaki.

A search for the series' showrunner is currently underway. The remarkable true story of Nzinga, warrior queen, takes place in 17th century Angola. This is the legendary tale of Nzinga's 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.

"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 Yetide Badaki. "I am thrilled by STARZ' 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."

Mo Abudu added, "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."

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson said, "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."

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson will executive produce through his G-Unit Film & Television alongside Mo Abudu who will executive produce through EbonyLife Media. The series, from Lionsgate Television in development for STARZ, will be overseen by Executive Vice President of Original Programming Karen Bailey on behalf of STARZ. Courtney Mock is overseeing on behalf of Lionsgate.

About Yetide Badaki

Yetide Badaki is a Nigerian born actress, writer and producer known for "American Gods," "Lost," "The Magicians" and "This Is Us." She is the award winning narrator of sci-fi/fantasy novels Akata Witch & Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor. Badaki also stars as Queen Meeru in Zack Snyder's "Army Of The Dead: Lost Vegas" and Vera in The Disney feature film Rise releasing in 2022. Badaki is repped by Innovative Artists.

About Mo Abudu / EbonyLife Group

Mo Abudu is CEO of the EbonyLife GroupNigeria's premium media, lifestyle and entertainment conglomerate. The group includes EbonyLife Media, EbonyLife Place (a luxury entertainment resort) and the EbonyLife Creative Academy.

EbonyLife Media creates original and inspiring content that showcases a pioneering and progressive Africa. Our content is strongly rooted in Africa and connected to a global audience, through a shared identity and common values. The vision of EbonyLife Media is to be the most influential storyteller of a new Africa.

With offices in London and Los Angeles, EbonyLife Media is working with major international partners to develop a slate of projects about the African diaspora, as well as stories set outside Africa that reflect Black consciousness. People of African origin are found in every corner of the globe - it's time to share their stories with a wider audience.

We are excited to pitch our stories to a diverse range of international streamers and broadcasters.

About Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson

Jackson has carved out a thriving television and film career as both a best in class producer and star. In 2005, he founded G-Unit Film & Television, Inc. which has produced a wide variety of content across numerous platforms and sold a myriad of shows to various networks. Among these is thecritically-acclaimed #1 show on Starz, "Power," in which he not only co-starred in but also served as executive producer and director. In October 2018, Jackson and STARZ/Lionsgate closed an unprecedented deal for Jackson's G-Unit Film & Television, Inc. The partnership, touted as among the most significant deals to date for an Executive Producer in premium television will focus on expansion of the "Power" universe, recently aired spin-offs ''Power Book II: Ghost'' and "Power Book III: Raising Kanan," as well as the upcoming "Power Book IV: Force." G-Unit Film & Television also produced the ABC hit, "For Life" and recently launched the first season of the widely anticipated series, "BMF" for STARZ which was immediately renewed for a second season. G-Unit is also in development on scripted series "Family Affair" ABC, "The 50th Law" Netflix, "Let Me Hear a Rhyme" Peacock, and "Angel's Playbook," "A Moment in Time," and "The Case of Cyntoia Brown" at STARZ. It was announced in May 2021 that "Confessions of A Crime Queen" was a straight to series order on Discovery+. The company is also building out its feature slate, starting with a 3 picture Horror deal as a collaboration with Horror phenom Eli Roth and 3BlackDot.


STARZ (www.starz.com), a Lionsgate company, is a leading global media streaming platform committed to delivering premium content that amplifies narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences. STARZ is home to the highly-rated and first-of-its-kind STARZ app that offers the ability to stream or download STARZ premium content, as well as the flagship domestic STARZ(R) service, including STARZ ENCORE, 17 premium pay TV channels, and the associated on-demand and online services. In 2018, STARZ launched its STARZPLAY international premium streaming platform to provide subscribers access to the "best of global SVOD." STARZPLAY, coupled with its STARZPLAY ARABIA joint venture, has expanded its global footprint into more than 55 countries throughout Europe and Latin America along with Canada, Japan, India and Indonesia. STARZ and STARZPLAY are available across digital OTT platforms and multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies around the world. In February 2021, STARZ launched #TakeTheLead, a multi-faceted and innovative inclusion initiative expanding its existing efforts to improve representation on screen, behind the camera and throughout the company.

  [december 2021]  


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