Netflix signs two seasons deal with Jada Pinkett Smith for a documentary series on African queens

From Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Nutopia, the hybrid docuseries about African Queens was granted a two-season order by Netflix, with Pinkett Smith slated to serve as an executive producer.

Peres Owino (Bound: Africans vs. African-Americans) and NneNne Iwuji (Yellow) have crafted an upcoming scripted docudrama-style series about famous African women called “Queen(s).” The first season will cover Cleopatra, with subsequent seasons devoted to notable African women. Each season will feature scripted, docudrama-style re-enactments of historical events using expert interviews and documentary footage as source material.

“I need my daughter to understand the importance of African Queens like Princess Enab, who helped pave the path for Black women like myself to be successful,” said Pinkett Smith. “I’m very thrilled and passionate about telling tales and teaching the lessons of these great women. It is important to honor their power, leadership, and legacy in history.”

The show will follow Cleopatra, the world’s most renowned, intelligent, and maligned woman—a gorgeous, intelligent queen whose intelligence overshadowed her other assets, including her relationships and physical attractiveness. Cleopatra’s ancestry has long been the topic of scholarly discussion, although it has never really been shown in Hollywood films. Her narrative will re-examine that aspect of her life, and it will play a role in a larger debate.

Many speculate that Cleopatra’s lineage included Greek and Persian elements and North African blood because she descended from the Ptolemaic dynasty. The book “World’s Great Men of Color,” which many people reference, believes she was Black. Since Elizabeth Taylor’s rendition of Cleopatra, Hollywood has given white American, European, and Middle Eastern actresses, including Vivien Leigh, Sophia Loren, Monica Bellucci, and Angelina Jolie. A recent example is Gal Gadot, who will be portraying the Egyptian queen in the upcoming 2018 film.

The historical figure of Njinga, who in the 17th century was the complicated, fascinating, and courageous ruler of Matamba and Ndongo in modern-day Angola, will be explored in season two. The country’s first female leader, Njinga, is known for her combination of political, diplomatic, and military skills, which made her an inspiration to those who resisted oppression.

Westbrook Studios and Nutopia are working together to produce the documentary series. As a result of the partnership between Westbrook Studios and Nutopia, Pinkett Smith, Miguel Melendez, Terence Carter, Sahara Bushue, and David Boorstein will be serving as executive producers for the project, with Jane Root and Ben Goold assisting them.

Pinkett Smith, her daughter, Willow Smith, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, host, and executive produce Facebook’s most popular program, Red Table Talk. Niobe comes back for The Matrix 4, and in the movie, she plays a part again. She is the only actor that will return for the last installment. This week at CinemaCon, the first trailer and title for the film were unveiled, and it will be released globally on December 22. Charm City Kings, which Pinkett Smith executive produced, made its global debut at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

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