Who Should Direct The Film Adaptation of Americanah? Uche Aguh and Dennis Schimitz Think They Deserve A Shot


In 2014, Academy-Award winning actress, Lupita Nyong’O acquired the rights to bring Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel, Americanah, to the big screen. Since then, very little has been heard as regards who the cast and crew will be, except that Nyong’O and David Oyelowo have been confirmed to star in it.

Several big name directors, including Ava DuVernay, have been linked with the project, but nothing concrete has come from Nyong’O or Plan B Entertainment, her producers.

In a bold move, UK-based production house, 55Media, headed by Uche Aguh and Dennis Schmitz, have released a concept trailer they hope will sway the producers into considering them to write, direct and serve as cinematographer for the film.

This concept trailer is a direct pitch to the producers of the feature film currently in development, for consideration in the areas of writing and directing and cinematography,” a press release by the team (via Shadow and Act) read. “This concept was shot over a period of seven days, on location in London, with an exact budget of $0.00.”

The trailer, which you can watch in the embedded player below, features Isio Danniella Esiekpe as Ifemelu; Damola Adelaja as Obinze; Jamila Wingett as Kosi; Uche Aguh as Blaine; Freddie Scobey as Curt; Winston Sarpong as Kayode; Daniel Annoh as Dike (Teenage); Jinmi Onabolu as Dike (Child); and Fatima Hernandez as Ginika.

As big fans of the Nigerian movie scene, we would love to see a Nigerian director helm the film. Andrew Dosunmu is a name that easily comes to mind. His already impressive body of work, coupled with his understanding of what it means to be a Nigerian in the US (like Ifemelu), make him a suitable candidate.

Americanah tells the story of Ifemelu and Obinze, young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. 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. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

Share your thoughts on who you think should direct the movie, as well as what you think of the concept trailer, in the comment section.