The upcoming subscription service HBO Max added another exclusive series to the list. The service announced a straight-to-series order for “Americanah,” based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name. The story follows a woman born in Nigeria who leaves for America and her extraordinary experiences with love, heartache, adversity and self-discovery. The limited-series has a ten-episode order, and will star Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o.
According to the network’s announcement, Danai Gurira wrote the pilot and will serve as showrunner. Gurira was nominated for a Tony Award for writing the Broadway show Eclipsed.
“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,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “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.”
“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,” said Gurira. “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.”
“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,” said Nyong’o. “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.”
HBO Max’s official description reads, “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. 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.”
The series will be executive produced by Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o for Eba Productions, Plan B Entertainment, Andrea Calderwood for Potboiler Television, Didi Rea and Danielle Del for D2 Productions, and Nancy Won.
HBO Max has already announced a long list of exclusive shows and series, including “Gossip Girl,” “The Flight Attendant,” “Love Life,” “Station Eleven,” “Made for Love,” “Dune: The Sisterhood,” and an animated “Gremlins” show.
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