STARZ Developing Period Drama Queen Nzinga


STARZ has begun development on Queen Nzinga, with Yetide Badaki, Mo Abudu, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Steven S. DeKnight executive producing.

The series, based on a true story, takes place in 17th-century Angola and follows the transformation of Nzinga from an innocent princess into a fearless warrior queen who rages a 40-year guerrilla war against the kingdom’s formidable enemies and the subjugation of her people by Portuguese slavers.

Badaki (Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, American Gods) will star as Queen Nzinga.

Abudu will executive produce through EbonyLife Media and Jackson will executive produce through his G-Unit Film & Television banner. The series is produced by Lionsgate Television for STARZ.

Badaki said, “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. 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,” Abudu added. “Queen Nzinga 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.”

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.”