African Outlook Online

African Outlook Entertainment

Lupita Nyong'o to Star in Adichie's Americanah Movie, Joins Cast for Star Wars Episode VII

Lupita Nyong'o to Star in Adichie's Americanah Movie, Joins Cast for Star Wars Episode VII


Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o is to star in and produce an adaptation of Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's acclaimed novel Americanah.

Nyong'o (top left) is also to join the cast of the much-anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII. Pictured right: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel Half of a Yellow Sun has also been made into a movie

It will be made by Brad Pitt's company Plan B, producers of 12 Years a Slave - which won Nyong'o an Oscar in February.  Americanah centres on two Nigerians who fall in love, but find themselves separated by immigration issues.


In a statement, Nyong'o said it was an "honour to bring Ms Adichie's brilliant book to the screen".


Americanah, which follows lovers Ifemelu and Obinze, won the prestigious US National Book Critics Circle Award in 2013. It was selected as one of the 10 best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, the BBC and Newsday. It was also on the shortlist for this week's Baileys Prize for Women's Fiction in the UK, but lost out to Eimear McBride's A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing.


"Page after page I was struck by Ifemelu and Obinze's stories, whose experiences as African immigrants are so specific and also so imminently relatable," said Nyong'o. "It is a thrilling challenge to tell a truly international story so full of love, humour and heart."


Adichie's award-winning novels include Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, which was recently made into a film starring Thandie Newton and 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor.


Nyong'o became an overnight star with her performance in 12 Years a Slave, winning this year's best supporting actress Academy Award. Earlier this week, it was announced that she was to join the cast of the latest Star Wars film in Episode VII.


British actress Gwendoline Christie, who currently stars in Game of Thrones as warrior Brienne of Tarth, has also been cast in the production. The news was announced on the Star Wars website, although it did not say what roles the actresses would play.

Star Wars: Episode VII is due in cinemas on 18 December 2015.


"I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII," Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy said. "It's thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape."


Nyong'o and Christie join the already announced cast of John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.


Meanwhile, gossip website TMZ has posted a series of leaked pictures from the set of Episode VII, which began filming in Abu Dhabi last month.

The pictures appear to show a Tatooine-like marketplace and a new alien creature.