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Lupita Nyong'o to Star in HBO Max's Americanah, With Danai Gurira Writing

Lupita Nyong'o Americanah HBO Max

HBO Max is hosting a Black Panther reunion of sorts: Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o is set to star in the streamer’s adaptation of Americanah, to be penned by Walking Dead star Danai Gurira.

Based on the bestselling novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah — which just earned a straight-to-series order from HBO Max — follows a Nigerian woman named Ifemelu (Nyong’o) and “her extraordinary experiences with love, heartache, adversity and self-discovery” as she travels to America, per the official synopsis. The pilot for the 10-episode limited series will be written by Gurira, who just scored a Tony nomination for writing the Broadway show Eclipsed. She will serve as showrunner, and she and Nyong’o will also serve as executive producers.

Americanah has been a passion project for me since I read Chimamanda’s beautiful novel in 2013,” Nyong’o said in a statement. “It’s a tale that is simultaneously timely and timeless. 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.”

This is a rare TV role for Nyong’o, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave. She and Gurira co-starred together in last year’s Marvel blockbuster Black Panther. Gurira, meanwhile, is about to wrap up a lengthy run as Michonne on AMC’s The Walking Dead, as she’s announced she’ll be exiting the show during the upcoming Season 10.