Nigerian actress Adesua Etomi is set to voice the lead role in 'Malika: Warrior Queen'.
Written by Roye Okupe, the animated series tells the story of the warrior queen and military commander in pre-colonial Africa.
The Nigerian-born animator and founder of YouNeek Studios recently shared the news of Etomi's involvement in an exclusive interview with Okay Africa.
Explaining how it happened, he said, "I have to give credit again to Niyi, who's also the director of the highest grossing movie in Lagos - The Wedding Party Two…. So we discussed about who we would like to bring to this, and Adesua was the first person I had on my mind to voice it. Not only is she a huge star, she's super talented. After the both of us went through the proper channels to present the idea to her, she basically said it would be a dream for her to do it."
Okupe continued, "It was in October when she came on board after the right terms were established. A lot of credit also goes to the material because she was able to see some of the stuff we've done with Malika and the track record we've built with the graphic novels. And I can't wait for people to actually hear her performance because it's just so amazing what she's done with the character in this short pilot. It's an amazing 14 minutes."
This news comes just months after Etomi graced the front cover of Vogue Magazine alongside some of the world's most famous actresses including Hollywood's star, Scarlett Johansson.
What you need to know about Malika: Warrior Queen
This Nigerian animated series was first introduced back in 2016 as a new member of Okupe's entire universe of African superheroes.
She is a fifteenth-century badass West African queen and military commander fighting for her ever-expanding empire.
Okupe said, "You basically get to see how an African queen lived her life back then."
The first of the 150-page book, set in present-day Nigeria, later came out in 2017. The synopsis read, "Growing up as a prodigy, Malika inherited the crown from her father in the most unusual of circumstances, splitting the kingdom of Azzaz in half. After years of civil war, Malika was able to unite all of Azzaz, expanding it into one of the largest empires in all of West Africa. But expansion would not come without its costs. Enemies begin to rise within her council, and Azzaz grabbed the attention of one of the most feared superpowers the world has ever known: the Ming Dynasty. As Malika fights to win the clandestine war within the walls of her empire, she must now turn her attention to an indomitable and treacherous foe with plans to vanquish her entire people."
Part two of the 15th century-set epic story came out in 2018. Now, Okupe is set to continue the saga through an animated pilot.
The series will have three scenes and five speaking roles played by Etomi, Femi Branch, Deyemi Okanlowon, Blossom Chukwujekwu and Sambassa Nzeribe.
It will be executive produced by Niyi Akinmolayan of Anthill Studios.