Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto (Getty Images for Kering)
Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o will soon be appearing on the small screen as star of her long-time passion project, Americanah, based on the best-selling 2013 novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
According to Deadline, HBO Max has ordered a limited series based on the book, of which Nyong’o has long been a fan and working to bring it to life.
“Americanah has been a passion project for me since I read Chimamanda’s beautiful novel in 2013. It’s a tale that is simultaneously timely and timeless,” Nyong’o told Deadline.
Adding to the star power and #BlackGirlMagic, acclaimed actress (and Nyong’o’s Black Panther co-star) Danai Gurira not only wrote the series pilot, but will serve as showrunner of the 10-episode series.
“HBO Max is the perfect partner to bring this profound and celebrated story to life,” said Nyong’o, “and I’m thrilled that Danai will bring to the project her intelligence, wit, and understanding of the stories and the worlds of Americanah.”
This will be the fourth project where Nyong’o and Gurira will be working together. In addition to Black Panther and, now, Americanah, they appeared together in Avengers: Endgame as well as in Gurira’s play Eclipsed, about women held as sex slaves during the Liberian civil war.
Americanah, as Deadline explains:
tells the epic story of Ifemelu (Nyong’o), a young, beautiful, self-assured woman raised in Nigeria, who as a teenager falls in love with her classmate Obinze. Living in a military-ruled country, they each depart for the west, with Ifemelu heading for America, where, despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be black. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous undocumented life in London.
“Americanah has sparked a cultural phenomenon and is revered by fans around the world,” Sarah Aubrey of HBO Max told Deadline. “With exceptional talent like Lupita and Danai in front of and behind the camera, this series will give viewers a uniquely heartfelt and unforgettable experience.”