WEEK IN WOMEN: Prince-Bythewood Nets Netflix Record, Set to Helm THE WOMAN KING – Brandy McDonnell reports

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Director Gina Prince-Bythewood new Netflix film The Old Guard is breaking records on the streaming giant, leading to a high-profile new gig for the helmer.

Netflix announced this week on Twitter that The Old Guard, which stars Oscar winner Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts and Chiwetel Ejiofor, is already among the top 10 most popular Netflix films ever – making Prince-Bythewood the first Black female director on the list.

The Old Guard, adapted from the comic book series by author Greg Rucka and illustrator Leandro Fernández, centers on a covert team of immortal mercenaries who are suddenly exposed and must fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered. The film is currently on track to reach 72 million households in its first four weeks, according to Netflix.

Prince-Bythewood – who has also written and directed the renowned films Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees and Beyond the Lights – has now been tapped to helm The Woman King, starring Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis. Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell writes features and reviews movies, music, events and the arts for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma's statewide newspaper, and NewsOK.com, the state's largest news Web site. Raised on a farm near Lindsay, Okla., she started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school's 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News, and worked for the local weekly through high school. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she worked for The Daily O'Collegian and earned her journalism degree with honors. She worked for three years at small Oklahoma dailies The Edmond Sun and Shawnee News-Star. In 2002, she joined The Oklahoman as a features reporter, writing about movies, the arts, events, families and nonprofits. She moved to The Oklahoman's entertainment desk in 2007. In 2004, she won a prestigious Journalism Fellowship in Child & Family Policy from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Along with her membership in AWFJ, she also is a founding member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Brandy writes The Week In Women blog for AWFJ.org.