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Lupita Nyong’o is to star in and also executive produce Americanah for HBO Max.

HBO Max has given a straight-to-series order to Americanah, a long-time passion project of Lupita Nyong’o. The Oscar-winning 12 Years Of Slavestandout will star in and executive produce the limited series based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name. Nyong’o’sBlack Panther co-star Danai Gurira wrote the pilot and will serve as showrunner on the 10-episode limited series, which hails from Plan B Entertainment, Potboiler Television and D2 Productions.

Americanah tells the epic story of Ifemelu (Nyong’o), a young, beautiful, self-assured woman raised in Nigeria, who as a teenager falls in love with her classmate Obinze. Living in a military-ruled country, they each depart for the west, with Ifemelu heading for America, where, despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be black. 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.

Americanah has been a passion project for me since I read Chimamanda’s beautiful novel in 2013. It’s a tale that is simultaneously timely and timeless,” said Nyong’o. “HBO Max is the perfect partner to bring this profound and celebrated story to life, and I’m thrilled that Danai will bring to the project her intelligence, wit, and understanding of the stories and the worlds of Americanah.”