Film / TV

lupita nyong’o, danai gurira set for new ‘americanah’

September 17, 2019
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HBO Max has announced a straight-to-series order for Americanah, based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel. Starring Lupita Nyong’o and her Black Panther co-star Danai Gurira, the special 10-episode, limited series will see the women wear the totally new hats of showrunners (and scriptwriter of the pilot episode).

Americanah tells the 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. After growing up in the military-ruled country, 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. A highly lauded tale that has become a leader in the cultural conversation, Americanah is an incredible exploration of the human experience that crosses three continents to give an empathetic, compelling view of the complex realities of race, politics, immigration and identity.

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 said. “HBO Max is the perfect partner to bring this profound and celebrated story to life, and I’m thrilled that Danai will bring to the project her intelligence, wit, and understanding of the stories and the worlds of Americanah.