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No Surprise. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Confirms Lupita Nyong’o Has Optioned Rights To ‘Americanah’

No Surprise. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Confirms Lupita Nyong'o Has Optioned Rights To 'Americanah'

EDITOR’S NOTE: Confirming what we announced in March, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie made it official that Lupita Nyong’o has indeed optioned her novel Americanah. She did so during a book signing and reading of the novel, courtesy of Stylist Magazine, per the tweet above. But, really, it was quite obvious to us, given Adichie’s hints in the below video interview we published 2 months ago. She all but said that Lupita had indeed optioned film rights to the novel. But now I suppose it’s official. Now the uphill climb begins for Lupita, as she works towards packaging the project, making it attractive enough for the potential financiers she’ll be seeking funding from. Our March post follows below…

Half
of a Yellow Sun
 author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie had
a recent interview with Arise Entertainment 360 discussing her work,
her novels, and last year’s TEDTalk on feminism that had such an
impact, and ended up on Beyonce‘s album.

Of
interest to our readers, about halfway through the conversation turns to
Hollywood. Regarding the banner year for black actors, Adichie
says:

“I attribute that to the world
finally realizing the immense talent that all of these black actors and
actresses have… I think the problem with that though, is that it shouldn’t be
remarkable… I celebrate it, but it’s a shame that we have to.

And the big news that Adichie shared, or hinted at, is an
upcoming collaboration with actress Lupita Nyong’o

“I’m going to do the mysterious thing and say that Lupita
might be making an announcement very soon. I don’t know. That announcement
might be about Americanah.” 

That is, Adichie’s 2013 novel Americanah,
which centers on a young Nigerian woman who emigrates to America for a
university education. 

With what we know of Nyong’o’s background in Mexico and Kenya and her education at Yale, and her triple-threat talent as a director and writer in addition to acting, this sounds right up her alley. 

And the fact that
Adichie would make such a statement, even “mysteriously,” indicates that this is already a done deal. 

Find the interview below. They start to discuss the adaptation
around six minutes in: 

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Comments

estelle anderton

Absolutely loved Americanah and Half of a yellow sun.Couldn’t put the books down.Very thought provoking…stunning.

juy

I definitely wouldn't watch an Americana movie. That book is a mills and boon paperback wrapped up with gender, race and class intersectionalities. I wouldn't watch it but your half of a yellow sun was a very good novel. Please chimamanda don't let American celebrity culture devour you.

Blackman

Wow this is groundbreaking, a book and movie about a African woman who emigrates to America for a university education. Stunning. Unique. Almost like the over 2.5 million university emigrants that are still here with and without degrees.

yawns. does she live to find a scraggly white boy to sweep her off her feet? The books by this woman are stunning for its "quiet" lack of self love.

guest

@Done. I agree. It really does seem like this author has a white man fetish. I see a disturbing pattern in her work. The main character in Americanah is obsessed with white men. The two sisters in Half of A Yellow Sun were laying up with the same white dude. I wonder if the author is exploring her own interracial fantasies through her fiction.

Anonymous

I wish both women good luck with this project, however, from a business standpoint I don't see it being tremendously successful.

I've not read the author's novel but I've heard her interviewed about it, and that's enough for me. I don't find the story all that compelling. … As others have mentioned I don't see this as having universal appeal, which is important to draw ALL moviegoers, but definitely black moviegoers. S&A has been heavily pushing HAYS (Have a Yellow Sun), but I have to say I'm not really interested in seeing it. …And I haven't gotten the sense that other visitors to this site are either. … As an example, I believe Ava's "Middle of Nowhere" was so well received, and a critical darling, because many women — particularly black women — were able to relate to the three female leads. Ava did an excellent job of conveying the burden that many black women, especially, experience in thinking they have to be superwomen in every aspect of their lives.

And I think many Americans — particularly those of us who are black — are "over" hearing about the immigrant story. We all know the implied subtext of the immigrant story, which is always held up to the history of slavery, and I, for one, am tired of Americans who happen to be black being pitted against immigrants in that way.

jeni

Wondering how they're going to change the work to make Ifemelu likeable. Actually, the book had a contemptuous tone in regard to most of the characters and situations, so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I've never read something that managed to offend/ridicule so many ethnicities and social classes, but she's an engaging writer.

blackthought

Do all of Adichie's works feature Nigerian women lusting for white men?

Half of a Yellow Sun featured two Nigerian sisters, both of whom, at some point, have sex with the SAME white man.

Americanah features a young Nigerian woman who becomes romantically involved with a wealthy white man who she puts on a pedestal.

Is this narrative of Nigerian women lusting for white men an obsession for this author?

jaquay

Film-making is a business—

Mr Benson

So Chimamanda will give out another rich role to a non Nigerian actress again. I guess it will still be a flop like Half Of A Yellow Sun.

Ade

The book is a fascinating read. The sections about Nigeria read like a never-ending Roman holiday. How true. Can't wait to see the film.

Nikki

This is a project I will definitely follow closely. I'm a huge fan of both.

NO IT DOESN'T

"And the fact that Adichie would make such a statement, even "mysteriously," indicates that this is already a done deal."

No. No it doesn't.

Janet

Great news. Have not read the book yet, but the author was interviewed on NPR recently and the story sounds intriguing. Ms. N., appears to have networked very well over the past year, so if this comes to pass, I won't be surprised to hear some heavy hitters backing it… or even a successful crowd funding campaign. Strike while you're hot.

Moulin

Hope it doesn't turn out like Half of a yellow sun. Get a strong hand and team around it.

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