The trailer for Malika—Anthill Productions and YouNeek Studios’ historical fantasy epic—is here and it looks interesting. The animated film, based on the graphic novel Malika: Warrior Queen, created by YouNeek Studios Founder, Roye Okupe, looks promising with sharp visuals and apt voice performances from top Nollywood actors like Femi Branch, Adesua Etomi and Blossom Chukwujekwu.
Malika is an African superhero who lived in 15th-century West Africa. She is inspired by real-life warrior, Queen Amina of Zazzau. The story showcases the beauty of medieval West Africa. While it is set in the fictional empire of Azzaz, the surrounding kingdoms are actual African empires. Azzaz is bordered to the east by the Kingdom of Kongo; the west, by Songhai Empire and Timbuktu; and to the south by the Benin and Oyo Kingdoms. Read the film’s synopsis below.
A MASTER DUELIST AND BATTLE STRATEGIST BY THE AGE OF 8, MALIKA WAS A CHILD PRODIGY BORN TO RULE. HOWEVER, SHE QUICKLY REALIZES JUST HOW HEAVY THE CROWN IS AFTER ASCENDING TO THE THRONE FOLLOWING THE LOSS OF BOTH PARENTS DURING THE CIVIL WAR. DETERMINED TO MAKE A BETTER FUTURE FOR AZZAZ, MALIKA ENDS THE CIVIL WAR BY UNITING ALL THE NEIGHBORING KINGDOMS INTO ONE EMPIRE. THIS ATTRACTS DANGER FROM THE OUTSIDE IN THE FORM OF THE MING DYNASTY, AS WELL AS BETRAYAL FROM WITHIN THE WALLS OF HER EMPIRE. THESE, HOWEVER, TURN OUT TO BE THE LEAST OF MALIKA’S PROBLEMS AS A CLOUD OF DARKNESS APPROACHES AZZAZ. MALIKA MUST NOW LOOK TO DIVINE POWER TO RESTORE HOPE TO A FRACTURED EMPIRE.
Adesua Etomi, who is playing the lead in two of Nollywood’s most anticipated films of the year, The Set Upand Muna, voices Queen Malika, and from the trailer, we can tell she delivered with the charisma and certainty expected of Queen. Other cast members include Blossom Chukwujekwu, Femi Branch, Sambasa Nzeribe, and Deyemi Okanlawon.
The pilot will be available for Kickstarter backers on July 24. The film will screen at the Lagos Comic Convention on September 21, and at the Midwest Ethnic Convention for Comics and Arts (MECCACON) in Detroit, USA. There is no news on a theatrical release yet.