Oscar winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has received rights to the adaptation of Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s third novel.
The announcement, made at a Stylist magazine event attended by the writer, comes after Ms. Adichie hinted at a possible involvement with the Kenyan actress earlier in the year. Should the adaptation go into production and eventual release, it would be the second film made from the author’s work, after the Biyi Bandele directed Half of a Yellow Sun.
It would be recalled that the cinematic adaptation of Half of a Yellow Sun is yet to be screened in the birth country of both author and director following an unstated controversy with the National Film and Video Censors Board.
In early May, the author took to the Culture Desk of the New Yorker to express her dismay at the controversy:
It is sadly easy, in light of the censors’ action, to overlook the aesthetic success of the film. Its real triumph is not in its politics but in its art. The war is the background to the complicated romance of characters played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton, both of whom give the most complex performances of their careers. As a flawed professor, Ejiofor is finally freed from the nobility that was central, and limiting, to his past major roles. Here, his range is breathtaking. Newton brings a nuanced blend of strength and vulnerability to a character for whom she eschews the vanity of a beautiful movie star. On the screen, their chemistry breathes. Cinema, Susan Sontag once wrote, began in wonder, the wonder that reality can be transcribed with such immediacy. Director Biyi Bandele’s eye is awash with magic, but also with a kind of nostalgia, a muted love, a looking back at a country to which this film is both a love letter and a rebuke.
Ms. Adichie will be hoping Americanah has better luck with the Censors Board.