Lupita Nyong’o & Danai Gurira’s Americanah gets series order at HBO Max
HBO Max has officially given a series order to the limited series adaptation titled Americanah, based on author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o will be starring in the 10-episode miniseries with her Black Panther co-star Danai Gurira serving as the series’ writer and showrunner.
“Americanah has sparked a cultural phenomenon and is revered by fans around the world. It has affected me deeply as one of the most moving, socially relevant and romantic stories of our time,” HBO Max’s Head of Original Content, Sarah Aubrey said in a statement. “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.”
This project will mark the third collaboration between Nyong’o and Gurira, who also worked together on the 2015 play Eclipsed which earned four Tony Award nominations.
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. 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.
“Through Americanah, Chimamanda brought the African female voice into mainstream consciousness in an unprecedented way. It is intellectually incisive, indicting, yet full of humor, and riddled with humanity. She makes unheard voices familiar, universal and yet palpably specific,” Gurira said. “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.”
The novel is 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.
Nyong’o had been developing the adaptation since 2014 with D2 Productions, Plan B Entertainment and Potboiler Television. Americanah will be executive produced by Gurira and Nyong’o through her Eba Productions banner. Andrea Calderwood (Generation Kill) for Potboiler Television, Didi Rea and Danielle Del for D2 Productions, and Nancy Won (Jessica Jones) are also set as executive producers.
(Photo Credits: Getty Images)