Americanah, Lupita Nyong'o, HBO Max

It’s been confirmed that Danai Guirira’s limited series Americanah is no longer happening at HBO Max. Word of the 10-episode event being scrapped comes shortly after Lupita Nyong’o (LITTLE MONSTERS, US, BLACK PANTHER) exited the show due to scheduling conflicts. Nyong’o was lined up to executive produce the series in addition to her starring role, while her BLACK PANTHER co-star, Gurira, wrote the pilot and was to serve as showrunner for the project.

Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name, 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. (via Variety)

Back when it was still happening, the series had Uzo Aduba, Corey Hawkins, Zackary Momoh, and Tireni Oyenusi as members of its cast. Cameras were expected to roll on Americanah earlier this year before the coronavirus pandemic forced a mandatory delay on the project. Once the show was knocked off course, Nyong’o’s demanding schedule left her little choice but to bow out due to prior commitments. For the moment, there are no plans to continue the making of Americanah, and fans looking forward to the limited series will have to use their imaginations with regard to what could have been.

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