Inspiration for 'Black Panther' female warriors gets TV show

Sony joins with a Nigerian network to produce a television series about the 19th-century Dahomey Warriors, who inspired the Dora Milaje.

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Gael Cooper
2 min read

The fictional nation of Wakanda in "Black Panther" was guarded by the Dora Milaje, which took inspiration from a real group.

Marvel Films

Blockbuster hit "Black Panther" featured an all-female warrior force known as the Dora Milaje. Now, the real-life army that inspired the group will soon have its own television series, Sony said Thursday.

Sony Pictures Television will join with Nigerian network EbonyLife to create the series based on the Dahomey Warriors, a 19th-century all-female West African military organization. The two companies will also work on a pair of other projects.

"Our vision has always been to change the narrative about Africa and to tell our stories from our perspective," EbonyLife founder and CEO Mo Abudu said in a statement. "Now we have the opportunity to bring the fascinating story of The Dahomey Warriors, and many others like it, to audiences around the world."

The show will be fictional but "inspired by true events that took place in the West African Kingdom of Dahomey," according to the statement.

Also called the Dahomey Amazons, the real-life group operated in what is now the Republic of Benin, and stemmed from a group of female elephant hunters active in the 1600s. It lasted in various forms until the end of the nineteenth century. Nawa, a woman believed to be the last survivor of the group, died in 1979.

No dates were given for a possible release, but the statement says that development on the Dahomey Warriors project will start immediately, with further details on the two additional projects to follow.

In "Black Panther," the Dora Milaje protect King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and his kingdom, and are led by Okoye, played by "Walking Dead" star Danai Gurira. Gurira will reprise her role in Avengers: Infinity War, which comes out in April.

"Black Panther" recently passed 2012's "The Avengers" to become the biggest-grossing superhero film of all time. It has been critically acclaimed for, among other things, the Dora Milaje's strong portrayal of female warriors.

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