HBO Max and Cartoon Network have commissioned a 2D animated adaptation of graphic novel series Iyanu: Child of Wonder, created by Nigerian filmmaker Roye Okupe.
The African teen superhero story is published by Dark Horse Comics and YouNeek Studios and follows a teenage heroine who must uncover the mystery behind her newfound powers to save her people from an ancient curse threatening to destroy humanity.
The series is set in the magical kingdom of Yorubaland and is heavily influenced by the history of the Yoruba people of Nigeria.
The animated adaptation is being produced by Lion Forge Animation, the US company behind Oscar-winning short film Hair Love, which is the basis of a spin-off series, Young Love, for HBO Max. Lion Forge, led by founder David Steward II, is financing and overseeing production.
Okupe is executive producer, writer and director of multiple episodes, with Brandon Easton (Transformers: War for Cybertron) leading the writers’ room. Lion Forge’s head of production Saxton Moore (Rise Up, Sing Out) is supervising director.
Other executive producers on the project are: Steward II and Matt Heath for Lion Forge Animation; Erica Dupuis for Impact X Capital; Ryan Haidarian for Forefront Media Group; and Doug Schwalbe and Carl Reed.
French-Senegalese actor and Lupin star Omar Sy has entered into a television deal with US subscription video-on-demand service HBO Max.
Sy will develop international series with the service, which is part of the newly merged Warner Bros Discovery group.
Announcing the news on Instagram, Sy said: “I am very happy to be partnering with HBO Max who share my dreams of developing globally appealing TV content for audiences around the world, including French-speaking Africa, France and the United States.”
Sy recently signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to develop original feature films. He is also set to co-star in Lionsgate action-thriller Shadow Force and has starred in comedy-drama film The Intouchables, as well as Inferno, Transformers: The Last Knight and The Takedown.
Award-winning Nigerian-American actress Uzo Aduba is to star in the fourth season of HBO series In Treatment.
According to the cable network, Aduba will play the observant, empathetic Dr Brooke Taylor, the therapist at the centre of the new season. Aduba’s character will come into contact with a diverse trio of patients, helping them solve a variety of modern concerns while trying to deal with complications in her own personal life.
The fourth season comes 10 years after the third season’s finale and is set in present-day Los Angeles. It also stars Anthony Ramos, Liza Colón-Zayas, John Benjamin Hickey, Quintessa Swindell and Joel Kinnaman.
Aduba took to Instagram to say: “One doctor, three patients, and a whole lot of treatment. The time is yours.”
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.