'Harriet' Filmmaker Kasi Lemmons Tackling 'Shadow King' Adaptation

Kasi Lemmons - Getty - H 2020
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Atlas Entertainment is behind the project.

After writing and directing the Oscar-nominated biopic Harriet, Kasi Lemmons has set her next project — an adaptation of Maaza Mengiste’s The Shadow King.

Set during Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, the best-selling historical fiction novel tells the story of the Ethiopian women soldiers who were left out of the historical record of World War II.

Atlas Entertainment, which will next release Wonder Woman 1984, is behind the project, which will be produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle. Stephanie Haymes-Roven and Curt Kanemoto will executive produce and oversee the project for Atlas.

“Kasi’s films are epic and intimate all at once,” Roven and Suckle said Thursday in a statement. “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.”     

Added Lemmons: “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.”

Lemmons' other feature credits include the Langston Hughes adaptation Black Nativity and the Ralph "Petey" Greene biopic Talk to Me. Most recently, she executive produced the Netflix limited series Self Made, starring Octavia Spencer, and directed two episodes of the series.

Lemmons is repped by Gersh and Del Shaw.