The upcoming HBO Max series Americanah is no longer in the works. It was set to star Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) with Danai Gurira (Black Panther) attached as its showrunner and writer. HBO Max has dropped the star studded limited series due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The cancellation of Americanah is an all too familiar narrative that’s played out this year, with countless other television series having been cut short due to COVID-19. With so many unknown elements factoring into the project, such as when production would be able to start, Nyong’o withdrew because of scheduling conflicts. Without its star, HBO Max decided to cancel the slated 10 part limited series.
Americanah was set to be an adaptation of the novel under the same name written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. An epic romance that involves prevalent issues such as immigration, it won several awards including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 2013. Nyong’o was to star as the show’s main protagonist, Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman adjusting to living in America while studying at Princeton University.
Though Gurira is known for her work in front of the camera, she was looking forward to participating behind the scenes. In a previous interview with Entertainment Weekly, she described her involvement with the project: “I’m involved with every angle of it…It’s not a small thing to be taking on a 600-page novel and bringing it to the fore as a TV show. But I realized that if I didn’t do it I would never, ever forgive myself. Taking it on will require everything I’ve got, and then some.” This past year, Gurira made her final appearance in season 10 of the long-running AMC zombie thriller, The Walking Dead.
Neither Gurira nor Nyong’o have released any statements regarding Americanah’s cancellation yet.