Riding a wave of critical acclaim (not to mention considerable Oscar buzz) for his stunning performance as Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s electric Civil Rights Movement film Selma, David Oyelowo has signed onto another highly promising, race-related project – this time alongside 12 Years a Slave Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.
Oyelowo will star with the actress in indie drama Americanah. Based on the novel by renowned Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (who also penned Half of a Yellow Sun), Americanah centers on two Nigerian immigrants, Ifemelu and Obinze, who struggle for years to establish lives for themselves in the United States while keeping their romance alive. The novel, which explores the modern immigrant experience and the nature of love in the modern age, won the 2013 National Book Critics’ Circle Award in addition to a number of other honors.
I can think of no two more talented actors to bring Ifemelu and Obinze to life than Oyelowo and Nyong’o. Both are red-hot talents, and Americanah will surely soar on their combined dramatic gifts. Now that both actors are locked in, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment (which worked with Oyelowo on Selma and Nyong’o on 12 Years a Slave) is turning its attention to locating a scribe to adapt Adichie’s novel and a director to tackle the project. Something tells me they won’t have much trouble finding either.
Check out the plot summary below for more on Americanah, which is already atop my list of films to look forward to:
A powerful, tender story of race and identity by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun.
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.