Women’s History Month is off to an A1 start with Lupita Nyong’o’s Americanah adaptation back in headlines. According to pop culture news site Konbini, Nyong’o tapped fellow Black Panther star Danai Gurira to write and co-executive produce the forthcoming project. Nyong’o will reportedly star as Ifemelu, the protagonist of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bestselling novel. The two actresses also shared the news with Extra’s AJ Calloway in January.
It’s been four years since Nyong’o revealed she acquired rights to turn Adichie’s book into a film. And as Nyong’o shared at the Apollo Theater on Tuesday (February 27), Black Panther was the first time she and Gurira worked together onscreen, despite an 11-year friendship (Gurira did write the script for Eclipsed, however, which blessed Nyong’o with her first Tony nomination). With all that in mind, we’re amped to see what the ladies have cooking. Now we just need that Ava/Lupita/Rihanna collab.
Americanah tells the gripping “love story of race and identity” between Ifemelu and estranged childhood flame Obinze. When we meet ambitious Ifemelu, she’s setting off to America to pursue a new life, but she’s caught off guard when she’s faced with being Black in America. Meanwhile, post-9/11 U.S. forces Obinze into an undocumented life in London until he’s reunited with Ifemelu in their homeland of Nigeria. The New York Times called Americanah “a steady-handed dissection of the universal human experience,” while The Boston Globe referred to the story as “unforgettable.”
So far, there’s been no word regarding whether David Oyelowo, who was also in talks about an adaptation, will be included in this project. A premiere date has also yet to be announced, but our fingers are crossed in hopes that one comes soon.
In the meantime, go wish Lupita a happy birthday. She’s 35 today.