Netflix preps African queen docudrama from Westbrook & Nutopia

Netflix has handed a two-season order to Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Nutopia for a new docudrama series about African queens.

Pinkett Smith is set to executive produce the as-yet-untitled series, which is being written by Peres Owino (Bound: Africans vs African-Americans) and NneNne Iwuji (Yellow).

The show will follow a different African queen in each season, with the debut run to feature Cleopatra, who was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. This will be followed by Njinga, queen of the Ambundu Kingdoms of Ndongo and Matamba, in season two. The series will feature both expert input about the historical rulers with scripted re-enactments.

“As the mother of a young Black woman, it is immensely important to me that she learns the lessons of the African queens who paved the way for our success and the success of generations of Black women,” said Pinkett Smith. “I am very passionate and excited about bringing the stories and lessons of these powerful women to light in order to showcase their strength, leadership, and undeniable influence on history.”

The show will be co-produced by Westbrook Studios and Nutopia, with Pinkett Smith, Miguel Melendez, Terence Carter, Sahara Bushue and David Boorstein exec producing for Westbrook, along with Jane Root and Ben Goold for Nutopia.

Westbrook and Nutopia also worked together on the National Geographic series Welcome To Earth for Disney+ and this latest commission follows a recent five-year first-look unscripted deal for Westbrook with Nat Geo.

Nutopia, meanwhile, was recently commissioned by Netflix to produce true crime docuseries Vendetta: Truth, Lies And The Mafia, which it is making in collaboration with Mon Amour Films.

News of the new Netflix commission was first reported by Deadline.

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