Corey Hawkins joins HBO Max’s Americanah limited series
The Wrap brings word that Tony Award-nominated actor Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, Six Degrees of Separation) has been tapped for one of the lead roles in HBO Max’s forthcoming limited series adaptation of Americanah. Hawkins will be joining previously announced cast members Zackary Momoh (Doctor Sleep, Harriet), Emmy winner Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black) and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, who will lead the series as Ifemelu.
Based on author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name, the series will be executive produced by Nyong’o and Danai Gurira, who will also be serving as the series’ writer and showrunner.
Hawkins is set to portray the role of Blaine, described as “Ifemelu’s present-day boyfriend and Yale Professor, who is madly in love with her. Deeply passionate about social injustices, he tutors at risk youth and organizes protests for a wrongly accused black Yale security guard.”
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.
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.
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.