Tag Archives: Lupita Nyong’o

John Boyega to star in The Woman King

British-Nigerian actor John Boyega (The Force Awakens, Small Axe) is set to star in historical drama The Woman King, which is being produced by Sony-owned US studio TriStar Pictures.

John Boyega

The Woman King is a historical epic inspired by true events that took place in the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states in West Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries.

It follows the story of the general of Dahomey’s all-female military unit and an ambitious young recruit, who together fought enemies that violated their honour, enslaved their people and threatened to destroy everything they had lived for.

Boyega will star as King Ghezo alongside American actress and Oscar winner Viola Davis (The Help) and South African actor Thuso Mbedu (Scandal). Other cast members include Lupita Nyong’o and Lashana Lynch.

The movie is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard), the original screenplay was written by Dana Stevens and it is being produced by Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment, Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions and Maria Bello of Jack Blue Productions.

“I will be joining this incredible cast as King Ghezo. I can’t wait to create with our director Gina Prince-Bythewood and our talented cast. It’s a personal joy to see black women shine like this,” Boyega wrote on Instagram.

Prince-Bythewood took to Instagram saying: “I have been enamoured by John’s immense talent for years, but his speech to black women during the protests cemented my desire to work with him. The description of King Ghezo reads, ‘He walks as if the Earth were honoured by its burden.’ John possesses that innate depth and swagger and I’m so excited to put it on screen.”

The release date of the movie is yet to be announced.

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YouTube renews Nyong’o animation

Super Sema has an African-futuristic setting

YouTube Originals Kids and Family has ordered a second season of African animated series Super Sema, which is exec produced by Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o.

Made by an all-female team, the show is about a young superhero girl called Sema and her adventures saving the world. Season one debuted in March and its finale was made available last week.

Super Sema is produced by Kenyan outfit Kukua, with Kenyan-Mexican actor Nyong’o voice-acting on the show as well as exec producing. YouTube Originals creative exec Daniel Haack and kids and learning head Nadine Zylstra helped develop the series for the video platform.

Zylstra said: “The success of the show is due to both the creative guidance of its all-female led team and the relatability of the characters to our diverse, global audience of young viewers.”

Other shows on YouTube Originals Kids and Family include virtually filmed teen series Lockdown, Pinkfong Wonderstar and Sherwood.

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Nyong’o, Portman join Apple adaptation

US streamer Apple TV+ has ordered a limited series based on Laura Lippman’s novel Lady in the Lake, which will star Kenyan-Mexican actor Lupita Nyong’o and Natalie Portman.

Lupita Nyong’o (photo: Gage Skidmore via CC)

Co-written by Alma Har’el and Dre Ryan, the TV adaptation of Lady in the Lake takes place in 1960s Baltimore, where an unsolved murder pushes a housewife and mother (Portman) to reinvent her life as an investigative journalist.

Her investigations set her on a collision course with a hardworking woman (Nyong’o) who is juggling motherhood, many jobs and a passionate commitment to advancing Baltimore’s black progressive agenda.

The series marks Portman and Har’el’s first foray into television. They will both exec produce alongside Nyong’o, Ryan and Lippman, with Har’el also directing.

Crazyrose and Bad Wolf America are the production companies behind the series. Exec producing for Crazyrose are principals Jean-Marc Vallée and Nathan Ross, while founder Julie Gardner exec produces for Bad Wolf.

Natalie Portman (photo: Gage Skidmore via CC)

Also exec producing are Har’el’s producing partner Christopher Leggett, through the former’s new prodco Zusa, and Portman’s producing partner Sophie Mas.

In related news, Apple TV+ has renewed animated musical comedy series Central Park for a third season, ahead of the S2 premiere this June.

From creators, writers and executive producers Loren Bouchard, Josh Gad and Nora Smith, Central Park follows a family who live in and care for the famous New York park. Produced by 20th Television, the first season debuted on Apple TV+ last year.

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Lupita Nyong’o book set for Netflix

Lupita Nyong’o in hit Marvel movie Black Panther

A children’s book written by Hollywood actor Lupita Nyong’o is being adapted as an animated musical film for global streaming platform Netflix.

Sulwe is a children’s picture book about a young girl who wishes for her dark skin to be lighter. The story is about colourism and learning to love oneself regardless of skin tone.

Announcing the news on Instagram, Black Panther and Us star Nyong’o wrote: “Sulwe is going to be an animated movie!! Thank you to the readers of all ages who have joined Sulwe on her starry ride. I’m so excited for this next adventure on Netflix.”

Speaking to Variety, the Kenyan-Mexican actor added: “The story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart. Growing up, I was uncomfortable in my dark skin. I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in the aspirational pages of books and magazines, or even on TV. It was a long journey for me to arrive at self-love.

“Sulwe is a mirror for dark-skinned children to see themselves, a window for those who may not be familiar with colourism, to have understanding and empathy, and an invitation for all who feel different and unseen to recognise their innate beauty and value. I am thrilled that the book is being adapted into an animated musical that we hope inspires children all around the world to celebrate their uniqueness.”

Sulwe has been featured on Netflix’s original show Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices, in which Nyong’o read from her book. The release date of the animated adaptation on Netflix has not yet been revealed.

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Black Panther pair reunite for Americanah

Danai Gurira (left) and Lupita Nyong’o

Black Panther stars Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira are working on a miniseries adaptation of Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah.

The 2013 book, TV adaptation rights to which were acquired by Nyong’o in June 2014, will be scripted for television by playwright and actor Gurira. It was originally intended to be made into a movie.

The novel follows two Lagos teenagers who fall in love but are separated as one goes to the US to study while the other become an undocumented immigrant in London. Nyong’o and Gurira recently visited the Nigerian city to carry out research for the project.

While further official information has yet to be revealed, it was reported in late 2014 that David Oyelowo (Selma) would star in the adaptation.

In February, Nyong’o announced that she would be starring in and producing the movie adaptation of comedian Trevor Noah’s memoir, Born a Crime.

 

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