Wednesday, January 15, 2020



Series Stars Oscar® Winner Lupita Nyong’o and
is Written by Tony® Award Nominee Danai Gurira

Photo credit: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images North America
PASADENA – January 15, 2020HBO Max, the upcoming direct-to-consumer offering from WarnerMedia set to launch in the spring of 2020, announced today that Sundance award-winning director Chinonye Chukwu (Clemency) will direct the first two episodes of its limited drama Americanah. Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name, Americanah is an epic story of a woman born in Nigeria who leaves for America and her extraordinary experiences with love, heartache, adversity and self-discovery. The 10-episode limited series will star Academy Award® winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave; Black Panther), Zackary Momoh (Harriet), Emmy Award® winner Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), and Tony Award® nominee Corey Hawkins (In the Heights; BlacKkKlansman). Tony Award® nominee Danai Gurira (Black Panther; Eclipsed) will serve as showrunner and writer.

“Fresh off her Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Clemency, we are thrilled to have Chinonye direct the first two episodes of Americanah.” says Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “When she spoke so passionately about what it meant to her as a Nigerian filmmaker to tell this story, we knew we had the perfect partner to work alongside Danai, Lupita, and Plan B.”

Nigerian born Chukwu wrote and directed the film Clemency, starring Alfre Woodard, which was released in December 2019 to rave reviews. She received the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2019 for the film, making history as the first black woman to receive this award. This year, Clemency was nominated for two Gotham awards along with Chukwu being nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay, Woodard for best actress and Clemency for best feature. Chukwu is attached to direct an adaptation of former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown’s memoir, A Taste of Power. She is repped by CAA, Gochman Law Group and Grandview.

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. Ifemelu heads for America, where she finds academic success, but 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.

The series will be executive produced by showrunner and writer Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o for Eba Productions, Plan B Entertainment, Andrea Calderwood (Generation Kill) for Potboiler Television, Didi Rea and Danielle Del for D2 Productions, Nancy Won (Jessica Jones) and Erika L. Johnson (The Village).
About HBO Max
HBO Max 
is WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering debuting in spring 2020. With 10,000 hours of curated premium content anticipated at launch, HBO Max will offer powerhouse programming for everyone in the home, bringing together HBO, a robust slate of new original series, key third-party licensed  programs and movies, and fan favorites from Warner Media’s rich library including  Warner Bros., New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more. Sign up for updates at

About WarnerMedia
WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Now, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. WarnerMedia is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).

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