Corey Hawkins is the latest name to join HBO Max’s Americanah. He joins leads Lupita Nyong’o and Zackary Momoh. Uzo Aduba has also been cast.
The series is based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name. It will be a 10-episode limited series. Danai Gurira is the showrunner and also wrote the pilot.
Here’s the description: Americanah tells the 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 (Momoh). 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. A highly lauded tale that has become a leader in the cultural conversation, Americanah is an incredible exploration of the human experience that crosses three continents to give an empathetic, compelling view of the complex realities of race, politics, immigration and identity.
Hawkins will play Blaine, “Ifemelu’s present-day boyfriend and Yale Professor, who is madly in love with her. Deeply passionate about social injustices, he tutors at-risk youth and organizes protests for a wrongly accused Black Yale security guard.”
“Through Americanah, Chimamanda brought the African female voice into mainstream consciousness in an unprecedented way. It is intellectually incisive, indicting, yet full of humor, and riddled with humanity. She makes unheard voices familiar, universal and yet palpably specific,” said Gurira in an earlier statement. “I am honored to bring her incredible novel to life on the screen. I’m thrilled to collaborate once again with Lupita who brings her astounding ability as a performer and producer shepherding this project, along with HBO MAX’s unbridled enthusiasm to bring this groundbreaking narrative to the TV audience.”
Gurira, Nyong’o and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment are among the producers. Americanah has long been in the works. Nyong’o optioned the rights several years ago and primed Gurira to write. Before this announcement, it was last set as a film adaptation with Plan B producing, and David Oyelowo was set to star with Nyong’o.
From Harlem to Hollywood, get the Black entertainment news you need in your inbox daily.