A Novel About Ethiopian Women Who Fought in WWII to Get Film Adaptation

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Apr 17, 2020

The story of the Ethiopian women soldiers who fought against Mussolini’s 1935 World War II invasion in author Maaza Mengiste’s novel “The Shadow King” will be adapted into a film and helmed by “Harriet” director Kasi Lemmons, Deadline reports. 

“Maaza Mengiste’s mesmerizing novel takes my breath away,” Lemmons told Deadline. “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.”

The Ethiopian-born Mengiste, who is a professor at Queens College, was a 2019 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction finalist for “The Shadow King” and a 2018 Fulbright scholar. Lemmons’ previous movie about another war hero, “Harriet,” received two Oscar and two Golden Globe awards nominations.

“Kasi’s films are epic and intimate all at once,” said Atlas Entertainment’s producers Richard Suckle and Stephanie Haymes-Roven. “It makes her the perfect filmmaker to bring to life Maaza’s complex characters and compelling world captured in ‘The Shadow King.’”