Jada Pinkett Smith is set to executive produce a Netflix docuseries about historic African queens. According to Deadline, Netflix has ordered two seasons of the show, which will be written by Peres Owino and NneNne Iwuji. The untitled series will focus on a different queen each season — starting with Cleopatra in season one and Njinga in season two.
“As the mother of a young Black woman, it is immensely important to me that she learns the lessons of the African Queens who paved the way for our success and the success of generations of Black women,” Pinkett Smith told the outlet.
“I am very passionate and excited about bringing the stories and lessons of these powerful women to light in order to showcase their strength, leadership, and undeniable influence on history.”
The first season will cover Cleopatra's life and re-assess the story of her heritage. She is reportedly believed to have Greek and Persian ancestry, but many believe she may have been North African. Previously, white actresses such as Elizabeth Taylor have portrayed Cleopatra on screen.
Season two will focus on Njinga, a 17th-century warrior queen of Matamba and Ndongo who became the nation’s first female ruler.
The docuseries, which does not yet have a release date, will be co-produced by Westbrook Studios and Nutopia. Pinkett Smith, David Boorstein, Miguel Melendez, Sahara Bushue and Terence Carter will executive produce for Westbrook Studios, alongside Ben Goold and Jane Root for Nutopia.
Pinkett Smith recently wrapped up production for The Matrix 4. She will also reprise her role of Niobe in the film, which will be released worldwide on Dec. 22. The movie’s trailer was revealed earlier this week at CinemaCon. Pinkett Smith is also the host and executive producer of “Red Table Talk,” which has become Facebook’s number one show.
Check out Netflix’s tweet about Pinkett Smith’s new series below.
Jada Pinkett Smith will executive produce a doc series about history’s most iconic African queens.— Netflix (@netflix) August 26, 2021
Season 1 will cover Cleopatra — one of history's most powerful yet misunderstood women. Season 2 will cover Njinga, the fearless 17th century warrior queen of Matamba and Ndongo. pic.twitter.com/TYVId5hfAA