Viola Davis’ Latest Movie Shows The DCEU Still Underutilizes Waller

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Viola Davis directs the historic action movie The Woman King, and her performance shows just how much more she could bring to the DCEU’s Amanda Waller.


Viola Davis’ performance in The female king shows the untapped potential of her role as Amanda Waller in the DCEU. Amanda Waller should return in black adamwith Viola Davis having made her debut as Waller in 2016 suicide squad. Davis then reprized the role in the 2021 follow-up The Suicide Squad then appeared in the spin-off television series Peacemaker before black adamand while his portrayal of DC’s nemesis to the superhero community was well received, The female king shows that it could bring even more.

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In The female king, Davis plays Nanisca, general of the all-female warriors known as Agojie who defend the nation of Dahomey. Set in 1823, The female king was very well received for its historic scope, cast performances, and gripping action scenes, the latter of which showed Davis as a special standout. As a general of Dahomey, Nanisca is always at the forefront of battle as a highly cunning warrior.

RELATED: The Woman King Ending Explained (In Detail)

Davis isn’t usually known for her action-oriented roles, but she’s very clearly done a tremendous amount of work preparing to fight and leading the cast of The female king like Nanisca and wield her sword in battle. The praise Davis earned for her portrayal of Nanisca in The female king points out that her appearances as Amanda Waller in the DCEU could add the same practical energy to Waller. Although Amanda Waller is usually one to manipulate her haters behind the scenes, there are several ways Davis’ physicality shows that Nanisca could similarly translate to Waller.


How DCEU Can Improve Davis’ Waller

In her present-tense stories, Amanda Waller is a US government agent who runs Argus and monitors the metahuman community, but she wouldn’t have started there. The DCEU showing Waller as having a significant military background would fit nicely into his rise up the government ladder. As seen in his manipulations of the Suicide Squad, particularly his f-bomb filled threats to provocative assassin Bloodsport (Idris Elba) in The Suicide SquadDavis’s Waller could easily have been a commanding officer or maybe even a drill sergeant.

Showing some of Waller’s military past through flashback stories could allow Viola Davis to channel some of the same physical training and combat skills she uses as Nanisca in The female king. This could also play into his current role with Argus and his innate talent for Machiavellian manipulation. Waller, as a commander removed from the thick of battle, could easily trick unsuspecting heroes and villains into underestimating her as a physical threat, giving her the perfect opportunity to pull off another surprise if someone like Peacemaker, Bloodsport, or Harley Quinn was really trying to challenge her, either in Amanda Waller’s spin-off series or another DCEU movie.

Amanda Waller’s role in DCEU stays true to her comic book origins as a master string-puller who can be both ally and foe to superheroes depending on their alignment of goals. Yet Davis’ performance in The female king showed off his abilities in an action role that his future portrayals of Waller in the DCEU should definitely use. It would somewhat break the rules of Waller’s usual modus operandi, but if Amanda Waller herself is living proof of anything, it’s that rules are meant to be broken.

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