Lupita Nyong’o to star in Americanah movie

Lupita Nyong'o

Nyong’o is also to join the cast of the much-anticipated 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.

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.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun has also been made into a movie

“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.

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