HBO Max shelves Lupita Nyong’o series
US-based streaming service HBO Max has scrapped its plans for a TV adaptation of an award-winning novel from a Nigerian author.
A 10-episode limited series, Americanah was ordered by the WarnerMedia-owned streaming service last year. The project was based on Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book of the same name.
The show was set to star Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) as the lead character but she withdrew because of scheduling conflicts and the production delays caused by the coronavirus-enforced shutdown, leading to the cancellation of the series.
Other stars who were lined up to be part of the cast included Nyong’o’s Black Panther co-star Danai Gurira, who wrote the pilot and was to serve as showrunner, Uzo Aduba (Mrs America) and Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton).
Americanah tells the epic story of Ifemelu, a young woman raised in Nigeria who falls in love with her classmate as a teenager. Living in a military-ruled country, they both depart for the US, with Ifemelu forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be black.
The novel has won several awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 2013.