Disney’s “The Queen of Katwe,” based on the 2011 ESPN the Magazine story and subsequent book by Tim Crothers, stars Kenyan newcomer Nalwanga as Mutesi, who grew up in Kampala, Uganda and, with the help of her coach, Robert Katende (Oyelowo), became a competitor in the World Chess Olympiad. Nyong’o plays Mutesi’s mother, Harriet.
Adapted by William Wheeler (“Ray Donovan”), the film is “Monsoon Wedding” director Nair’s first feature since 2012’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” also adapted by Wheeler—and, one hopes, a return to more consistent work. The single image we have so far of “The Queen of Katwe,” shot largely on location in Uganda, is a reminder of Nair’s superb use of color, which made even her failed Reese Witherspoon vehicle “Vanity Fair” (2004) visually arresting.
The film is slated for release this fall.