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HBO Max, an American media platform that will launch in 2020, recently announced that it has ordered ten episodes of Americanah, an upcoming TV show by Lupita Nyong’o that is based on Chimamanda Adichie’s infamous book, Americanah.

In 2014, Lupita Nyong’o bought the rights to make a film out of Americanah. She planned to star in it as Ifemelu, alongside David Oyelowo, who would have played the part of Obinze. But her plans for a film didn’t work out, so the project lay dormant for many years. Last year she announced that she would be turning it into a TV series instead, and that she was working on the project with Danai Gurira. The two have worked together before. Lupita performed on Broadway in Danai Gurira’s show, Eclipsed, and just last year, both Danai and Lupita starred in the massive Marvel blockbuster, Black Panther.

Lupita and her team are yet to begin production, but HBO Max has already made a commitment to buy and air the entire Americanah series. This is a huge declaration of faith in the story, the actors, and the production team. Danai Gurira will be adjusting the story for television.

Do you remember Americanah? Did you ever read the book? In Americanah, Chimamanda wrote the story of Obinze and Ifemelu, two Nigerian teenagers who met and fell in love in secondary school. They lost touch with each other when Ifemelu moved to America, and Ifemelu’s life changed as she began to struggle with being black in America. Meanwhile, Obinze tried his best to leave Nigeria and finally managed to get into England as an undocumented immigrant where he began to face some troubles of his own. After many years of change and growth, the two meet again in Nigeria and begin a love affair that is dangerous and magnificent at the same time. In 2013, Americanah won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.

It’s not clear if the Americanah television series will tell Ifemelu and Obinze’s story in the same way Chimamanda wrote it, but what we do know is that the project is being crafted by a very competent team. Lupita Nyong’o won an Academy Award for her role in the 2013 film 12 Years A Slave, and Danai Gurira was nominated for a Tony Award for writing the Broadway show Eclipsed. Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, will produce the television series, while Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Andrea Calderwood, Didi Rea, Danielle Del, and Nancy Won will all serve as executive producers. Danai Gurira will also serve as showrunner.

The project will also be delivered to viewers by very capable hands. HBO Max is a new streaming service under the titanic television company, HBO. For a monthly subscription fee, viewers will be able to watch several new TV shows and movies on HBO Max, as well as a large collection of content from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Looney Tunes, CNN, TNT and more. Americanah will be one of these shows.

HBO Max has ordered ten episodes of Americanah, a TV show by Lupita Nyong’o that is based on Chimamanda Adichie’s book, Americanah.




Indie Wire


The Guardian NG

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This article was first published on 23rd September 2019


Tochi Onwubiko is a 'Jack' of many trades. A designer, book editor, lawyer and happy freelance writer. She enjoys drinking tea, sitting in quiet spaces, and reading thick books. She hopes to publish books one day. She also loves a good house party. If you know about any good books or parties, leave a comment on one of her posts.

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