Friday, September 13, 2019

Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira Team for HBO Max Limited Series 'Americanah'

Black Panther stars Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira are teaming up for the original limited series Americanah, with Nyong'o set to star and Gurira serving as showrunner. The project has been given a 10-episode order at HBO Max.

Based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the series 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. The series is an incredible exploration of the human experience that cross three continents to give an empathetic, compelling view of the complex realities of race, politics, immigration and identity.

Gurira and Nyong'o will executive produce with Andrea Calderwood, Didi Rea, Danielle Del and Nancy Won. Plan B Entertainment, Potboiler Television, D2 Productions and Eba Productions will produce.

"Americanah has sparked a cultural phenomenon and is revered by fans around the world," said Sarah Aubrey, Head of Original Content, HBO Max. "It has affected me deeply as one of the most moving, socially relevant and romantic stories of our time. 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."

"Americanah has been a passion project for me since I read Chimamanda's beautiful novel in 2013," added Nyong'o. "It's a tale that is simultaneously timely and timeless. 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."

"Through Americanah, Chimamanda brought the African female voice into mainstream consciousness in an unprecedented way," said Gurira. "It is intellectually incisive, indicting, yet full of humor, and riddled with humanity. She makes unheard voices familiar, universal and yet palpably specific. I am honored to bring her incredible novel to life on the screen. I'm thrilled to collaborate once again with Lupita who brings her astounding ability as a performer and producer shepherding this project, along with HBO Max's unbridled enthusiasm to bring this groundbreaking narrative to the TV audience."