After more than five-years,Nyong’o and Gurira’s planned adaptation of the novel Americanah has received a straight-to-series order at HBO Max.
The highly-anticipated limited series based off of the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi received a 10-episode deal and is set to star Nyong’o, with Gurira writing the pilot and serving as showrunner.
“Americanah has been a passion project for me since I read Chimamanda’s beautiful novel in 2013,” Nyong’o told MSNBC. “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.”
The best selling novel 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 as they both strive to leave their military torn town and head to the west. The story really dives deep when Ifemelu reaches America and learns that despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be “black”.
“Through ‘Americanah,’ Chimamanda brought the African female voice into mainstream consciousness in an unprecedented way,” Gurira said. “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.”
Gurira and Nyong’o will both executive produce, with Nyong’o producing under her Eba Productions banner.