See Viola Davis Go to War in Action-Packed 'The Woman King' Trailer

The Woman King releases exclusively in movie theaters September 16

Viola Davis goes to war in her latest film role.

The How To Get Away with Murder actress, 56, stars alongside Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and John Boyega in the upcoming historical action drama The Woman King. The action-packed trailer for the film dropped Wednesday.

"The Woman King is the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen," an official synopsis reads.

"Inspired by true events, The Woman King follows the emotionally epic journey of General Nanisca (Davis) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life," the synopsis continues, before concluding with the ominous: "Some things are worth fighting for…"

THE WOMAN KING - Viola Davis
Sony Pictures

The movie's two-minutes, 35-second-long trailer teases Davis' General Nanisca urging King Ghezo (Boyega) to go to war against European colonists seizing major portions of the African continent in the 19th century. Though King Ghezo initially appears reluctant to send his people to fight against Europeans, the trailer quickly gives way to scenes of Nanisca preparing her recruits for intense combat against their enemies.

"I offer you a choice," General Nanisca says as she stands alongside Amenza (Atim) and Lynch's warrior character, per IMDB. "Fight... or we die."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.

Nanisca doesn't just fight invaders who threaten her homeland; she is shown mentoring young Dahomey girls to grow into Agojie warriors. "To be a warrior, you must kill your tears," Nanisca tells one young girl in the trailer.

THE WOMAN KING - Viola Davis
The Woman King. Sony Pictures

"We are the spear of victory," Nanisca bellows toward the trailer's end, intercut with shots of her and other warriors diving into hand-to-hand combat. "We are the blade of freedom. We are Dahomey!"

The Woman King is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball), who co-wrote its screenplay with Dana Stevens from a story by Maria Bello.

The film will release exclusively to movie theaters on Sept. 16.

Related Articles