LOS ANGELES – September 8, 2022 –SHOWTIME announced today that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, Oz), Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage) will star and Terry Pheto (Tsotsi, The Bold & the Beautiful) and Lerato Mvelase (Justice Served) will guest star in the highly anticipated new series KING SHAKA, an epic drama centered around one man’s personal journey from stigmatized childhood to legendary king. They join previously announced cast Charles Babalola (The Outlaws) as Shaka, Aïssa Maïga (The Fear Index), Thando DIomo (The Woman King), Thapelo Mokoena (Bulletproof) and Warren Masemola (Queen Sono). The CBS Studios production, produced with Propagate and Fuqua Films and to be fully shot in South Africa, kicks off later this month in the historic KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) South Africa province, the birthplace of King Shaka, and will debut on SHOWTIME in 2023.

Akinnuoye-Agbaje will star as Zwide, the sadistic Chief of Ndwandwe who, although a loving family man, employs ruthless fighting methods and terrifying brutal strength. Pheto will recur as Juma, his devotedly pious yet conspiring wife. Shakir is starring as Dingiswayo, an ousted prince who becomes Shaka’s mentor and de facto father figure. Mvelase will recur as Mkabayi, elder sister to Shaka’s father and the most influential voice in the royal court.

Akinnuoye-Agbaje is best known for his NAACP Image Award-nominated work as Simon Adebisi in Oz, as well as Mr. Eko in Lost and Lock-Nah in The Mummy Returns. He starred most recently in Suicide Squad and Marlowe and will be seen next in the upcoming film Our Man From Jersey. Additional credits include The Bourne Identity, His Dark Materials, Trumbo and The Fix.

Shakir started most recently in Cowboy Bebop opposite John Cho and also starred in Luke Cage as Bushmaster. He will next be seen in KING SHAKA executive producer Antoine Fuqua’s Emancipation, Die Like Lovers and Ghosted. Other credits include The Deuce, The Night Of, Brawl in Cell Block 99 and Jett.

Pheto is a critically acclaimed international award-winning actor, producer and casting director. Her film credits include playing Miriam in the Oscar® winning film Tsotsi, Evelyn in Long Walk to Freedom, Winnie Mandela in Madiba, Naledi Khama in A United Kingdom and Dr. Malaika Maponya in The Bold and The Beautiful.

Mvelase is known for her Emmy® Award-nominated role in the South African drama series Home Affairs. She is currently hosting the reality series Seng’Khathele and starring in The Estate. Other credits include Justice Served, Thola, Intersexions, Life Above All, Umkhungo and For Love and Broken Bones.

Rooted in actual events, KING SHAKA tells the story of the Zulu Empire founder Shaka (Babalola) and his unlikely rise to power, uniting multiple tribes across vast stretches of Africa in the early 19th century to transform his power into legend, on par with history’s most seminal figures. The outcast son of a Zulu Chief, Shaka is a visionary who is prophesized to become a king like none before him. In ferocious battles that test the body and soul, in alliances that test the bonds of love and friendship, a complex sociological system plays out that renders the human cost front and center, for the victors as well as the vanquished, all in an effort to carve out a semblance of identity, fulfillment and ultimately, survival.

KING SHAKA is created and executive produced by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika, and executive produced by Antoine Fuqua, Bridget Carpenter, Propagate’s Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens and Rodney Ferrell. Seith Mann, who is directing the pilot, and Spencer Medof are also executive producers. Scott Greenberg is a producer, and Michael Callas is producing for Fuqua Films. Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube and Pepsi Pokane also produce.

As part of the production investment in South Africa and the KZN province, more than 300 locals have been hired for jobs across all facets of the production, including cast, crew, performers and craftspeople. In addition, the production is working in concert with leading South African production services company Film Afrika to help facilitate filming in the region. They are also working closely with the KZN Film Commission and with career-building training programs such as SA Film Academy (SAFA) and the Academy of Creative Excellence to provide production internships and other opportunities.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Paramount, owns and operates the premium service SHOWTIME®, which features critically acclaimed original series, provocative documentaries, box-office hit films, comedy and music specials and hard-hitting sports. SHOWTIME is available as a stand-alone streaming service across all major streaming devices and, as well as via cable, DBS, telco and streaming video providers. SNI also operates the premium services THE MOVIE CHANNEL™and FLIX®, as well as on demand versions of all three brands. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®. For more information, go [].

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