Categories: TV News

King Shaka: Showtime drops Antoine Fuqua’s historical epic series despite shooting being almost complete

According to Deadline, Showtime has dropped King Shaka, an epic historical drama series executive produced by Antoine Fuqua. As King Shaka was actually set to finish shooting in less than two weeks, that’s a shame, but the producers are exploring other options to find a new home for the series.

Deadline has heard that King Shaka was “permanently shut down over the weekend,” but that most of the filming had been completed. There were 12 days of shooting left, but it seems that there’s enough footage to assemble a full season of the series. King Shaka was said to be one of Showtime’s largest-scale production, with a large cast and complicated battle scenes driving the budget up to $90 million. Tipped as one of Showtime’s largest-scale productions ever, the $90 million sprawling tale, a longtime passion project for Fuqua, involves a large cast and elaborate battle scenes.

Written by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika, King Shaka tells the story of “the Zulu Empire chief Shaka 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. 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.

In a statement released when the King Shaka series was first announced, Antoine Fuqua said, “This project offers a gateway to our past that is so critical to our global history and yet so often marginalized. Through Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation, we hope to bring this saga to life, all the tears, sweat and blood, all the joy and sorrow, all the intimacy and intensity and humanity. In short, we’re going to rock the world with this one.” Showtime is in the process of overhauling their programming as they begin to merge with Paramount+ to become Paramount+ with Showtime. This comes with a renewed focus on building out their pre-existing franchises, such as multiple spinoffs of Dexter and Billions.

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Kevin Fraser