Aja Naomi King Joins Armie Hammer in Nat Turner Biopic

“How to Get Away With Murder” star Aja Naomi King will star opposite Armie Hammer in historical drama “The Birth of a Nation,” based on the story of the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner.

The film was first announced in November with Hammer starring and Nate Parker directing from his own script and starring. Shooting will start in mid-May in Savannah, Ga.

New cast members include Aunjanue Ellis (“NCIS: Los Angeles”), Colman Domingo (“Selma”), Dwight Henry (“12 Years a Slave”), Roger Guenveur Smith (“Empire State”) and Gabrielle Union (“Think Like a Man Too”).

Prompted by religious visions, Turner and a band of about 70 rebel slaves killed between 55 and 65 people in Virginia — the most ever killed in a slave uprising. The rebellion was stopped after two days, but Turner survived in hiding for more than two months.

“I couldn’t be more honored to tell the story of one of America’s greatest heroes,” said Parker. “A man whose actions rocked the nation, further precipitating the Civil War and emancipation for Americans of African descent. Nat Turner’s rebellion and message of resistance not only compels us to stand in the face of iniquity but also shines light on a critical moment in our history.”

Production companies are Bron Studios, Phantom Four, Mandalay Pictures and Tiny Giant Prods. in association with Follow Through Prods., Infinity Entertainment and Creative Wealth Media Finance. Producers are Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Parker, Kevin Turen, Jason Michael Berman and Preston Holmes.

Executive producers are David Goyer, Mike Novogratz, Michael Finley, Tony Parker, Jason Cloth, Jane Oster, Barb Lee, Carl Lindner, Derrick Brooks, Ryan and Jill Ahrens, Armin Tehrany and Mark Moran.

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