Kasi Lemmons to Write, Direct New World War II Drama

Kasi Lemmons. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Maaza Mengiste’s historical fiction novel The Shadow King will be adapted for the big screen by Harriet filmmaker Kasi Lemmons. 

Lemmons will write and direct the drama set during Benito Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia that tells the story of Ethiopian women soldiers who went to battle against Mussolini’s invading army. 

The Shadow King is produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle. Stephanie Haymes-Roven and Curt Kanemoto will executive produced.

“Kasi’s films are epic and intimate all at once,” said film producers Charles Roven and Richard Suckle. “It makes her the perfect filmmaker to bring to life Maaza’s complex characters and compelling world captured in The Shadow King. We are thrilled to be working with her on such a special project.”

Lemmons added: “Maaza Mengiste’s mesmerizing novel takes my breath away. The imagery is so rich and powerful and the characters so vividly drawn, it naturally lends itself to adaptation. I’m very honored to be a part of bringing this brilliant book to the screen and I’m thrilled to be working with everyone at Atlas.”