Nigerian Hollywood Actor, David Oyelowo, Will Smith To Adapt Nigerian Novel Into Netflix Movie
British-American Nigerian actor and producer, David Oyelowo has teamed up with fellow Hollywood actor, Will Smith to produce the film adaptation of the Nigerian novel, “Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun.”
The film is set to be produced in partnership with online streaming platform Netflix using their production companies, Westbrook Studios and Yoruba Saxon respectively.
The novel which was penned by British-Nigerian author, journalist and hair care educator Tola Okogwu is set to be written for adaptation by Ola Shokunbi Okogwu and made available to stream exclusively through Netflix.
The soon to be released book is set to join the ranks of other Nigerian novels that have been adapted for the big screen, some of which include, Half of a yellow sun, written by Chimamanda Adichie, published in 2007 and adapted into a film in 2013.
This film will be the first partnership between the two producers as they have not yet worked together on any film. Still, the two actors developed their respective production companies alongside their wives.
David founded his production company, Yoruba Saxon with his wife Jessica Oyelowo in 2014 and has had notable success, boasting a first-look deal with Walt Disney Pictures for feature films and an overall deal with Paramount for the original scripted and unscripted series. .
Yoruba Saxon product “The Water Man” in 2020, which was directed by David Oyelowo in what would count as his directorial debut. The film is currently distributed by RLJE films domestically and streams on Netflix internationally.
On the other hand, Will Smith launched Westbrook Studios in 2019, which he co-founded with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, Miguel Melendez and Ko Yada.
About the novel
The novel “Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun” tells the story of a teenage girl who discovers she has powers and travels to Nigeria to learn about her heritage, where she discovers there is a threat to her new magical community.
According to American publishing house Simon and Schuster, the soon-to-be-published novel is Black Panther meets Percy Jackson in this action-packed and thought-provoking mid-level superhero series about an Anglo-Nigerian girl who learns that her Afro hair has psychokinetic powers.