Disney is developing its first fairytale film starring an African princess. The House of Mouse has tapped Dope director Rick Famuyiwa to produce Sadé, a live-action fantasy film featuring the studio’s very first African princess.
Disney has bought the pitch to Sadé from writers Ola Shokunbi and Lindsey Reed Palmer, according to Variety. The pair is set to co-write the screenplay about “a young African girl named Sadé whose kingdom is threatened by a mysterious evil force and accepts her newly discovered magical powers to protect her people, with the help of the kingdom’s prince,” Variety reports.
The production will mark the first time that an African female character will lead a Disney princess film, among what has been a historically non-diverse list of characters. In 2009, Disney introduced Princess Tiana as its first black heroine in a fairytale film joining. The company has since debuted other princess characters of color like Moana and debuted a Latina Disney princess in the 2016 animated series Elena of Avalor.
It’s a pretty standard fairy tale plot, including a mysterious evil force, a neighboring prince, and — in a more modern twist — the princess herself gaining her own magical powers. But the big draw here, of course, is that Sadé will mark the first Disney film featuring an African princess. Considering the clout that the Disney princess line has in marketing and on young girls across the globe, this is a big deal.