Lena Waite and Melina Matsoukas have finally found their “Queen.” Actress Jodie Turner-Smith, who audiences may recognize for her recurring role on The Last Ship and Nightflyers, has been chosen to star opposite Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther) in the Waithe-penned film Queen & Slim.
Reported Thursday (Nov. 8) by Variety, the budding actress confirmed the news on Instagram. The romantic drama has been described as a layered love story. After a first date, the duo is embroiled in a high-stakes case of murder when they kill a police officer in self-defense after a traffic stop. Instead of turning themselves in, they go on the run.
The 2019 slated release will be directed by Matsoukas. This will be her first feature film debut. Currently, Matsoukas is the executive producer of HBO’s runaway hit Insecure. She’s also known for her previous gig as a music video director for the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce, Ciara, and Ne-Yo.
“Words cannot express how excited I am to be starting this journey with you,” Turner-Smith captioned to her Instagram post next to her co-star. “[Waithe and Matsoukas], thank you for choosing me to be your QUEEN.”
Universal Pictures, who will be distributing the film says that Queen & Slim “is an exploration of America’s social and political climate through the lens of a genre-defying love story.” Lena Waithe tells Variety that the film is “protest art.” It’s about being black and trying to fall in love in a world that’s burning down around you,” she said in a statement.
In addition to her scene-stealing roles in The Last Ship and Nightfliers, Turner-Smith also carries a loyal aura.
Social media rejoiced after hearing the news.
Two dark skinned people in actual love in an actual movie?! https://t.co/E0OnvwUzIK
— Anita Ward’s Bell (@Danez_Smif) November 9, 2018
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) November 8, 2018
We’re beyond excited for this.