Is Woman King Related to Black Panther? A Comparison of Two African-Inspired Films

The Woman King and Black Panther are two films that share some similarities, but also have many differences. Both films are inspired by African cultures and history, and feature strong Black characters and themes. However, they also have different genres, plots, messages, and historical accuracy. In this article, we will compare and contrast these two films and explore how they relate to each other.

The Woman King: A Historical Epic Based on True Events

The Woman King is a 2022 historical action-adventure film that tells the story of the Agojie, the all-female warrior unit that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the 17th to 19th centuries. The film follows General Nanisca (Viola Davis), who trains the next generation of warriors to fight their enemies, especially the French colonizers who threaten their way of life. The film is based on true events and characters, and aims to showcase the courage, strength, and resilience of the Dahomean women.

According to IMDb, the film was conceived by actress Maria Bello, who visited Benin (where Dahomey used to be located) in 2015 and learned about the history of the Agojie. She pitched the idea to producer Cathy Schulman, who then developed it into a feature film with TriStar Pictures. The film is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, who is known for her work on Love & Basketball (2000) and The Old Guard (2020). The film also stars Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and John Boyega.

The Woman King has received positive reviews from critics, who praised Davis’s performance and the action choreography. However, some critics also pointed out the historical distortion of slavery in the film, as Dahomey was notorious for its involvement in the Atlantic slave trade. According to Wikipedia, some historians have argued that the Agojie were not only defenders of their homeland, but also raiders and enslavers of neighboring peoples.

Black Panther: A Superhero Fantasy Inspired by African Cultures

Black Panther is a 2018 superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), a franchise of interconnected films that share a common storyline and characters. The film follows T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), who inherits the throne and the mantle of Black Panther after his father’s death. He must protect his isolated and technologically advanced nation of Wakanda from enemies who seek to exploit its resources and secrets. The film also stars Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.

According to Marvel, the film was directed by Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole. Coogler was inspired by African cultures and history, and consulted with experts and scholars to create a realistic and respectful depiction of Wakanda. He also incorporated elements from various African languages, music, art, architecture, clothing, and rituals into the film. The film’s costume design was especially praised for its creativity and authenticity.

Black Panther was a critical and commercial success, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time. It also received numerous accolades, including three Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. It was also nominated for Best Picture, making it the first superhero film to receive such recognition. Critics lauded its direction, writing, acting (particularly that of Boseman), production values, and soundtrack. They also noted its cultural significance as a film that celebrates Black identity and empowerment.

The Woman King and Black Panther are related in several ways:

  • They both feature African-inspired settings and characters.
  • They both explore themes such as leadership, legacy, identity, loyalty, family, tradition, colonialism, oppression, and resistance.
  • They both showcase strong female characters who are warriors, leaders, and innovators.
  • They both have Black directors and predominantly Black casts.
  • They both have received critical acclaim and recognition for their achievements.

However, they also have many differences:

  • They belong to different genres: The Woman King is a historical epic, while Black Panther is a superhero fantasy.
  • They have different plots: The Woman King is based on true events and focuses on a specific historical period, while Black Panther is based on fictional comics and spans multiple timelines.
  • They have different messages: The Woman King emphasizes the importance of fighting for one’s freedom and honor, while Black Panther emphasizes the importance of sharing one’s resources and knowledge.
  • They have different levels of historical accuracy: The Woman King tries to be faithful to the historical facts and sources, while Black Panther takes creative liberties with the fictional elements and references.


The Woman King and Black Panther are two films that have some similarities, but also many differences. Both films are inspired by African cultures and history, and feature strong Black characters and themes. However, they also have different genres, plots, messages, and historical accuracy. They are both worth watching and appreciating for their own merits and contributions to cinema.

Doms Desk

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