by Rachel Ogbu
Nigerian playwright Biyi Bandele, who is reverend for his stage adaptation of “Things Fall Apart,” is making his directorial debut with a new film project, and he’s assembled quite an impressive cast, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dominic Cooper and Thandie Newton all locked into the screen adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bestselling novel “Half of a Yellow Sun.”
Producers Andrea Calderwood (“The Last King of Scotland,” “Generation Kill”) and Gail Egan (“Happy-Go-Lucky,” “The Constant Gardener”) are the film financial sponsors and with assistance from both Nigerian private equity and the British Film Institute, the project has everything it needs to be a hit.
Critics cannot stop gushing about Cooper who is also to star in the movie alongside Ejiofor and Newton. Cooper hot off “The Devil’s Double” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” will undoubtedly help the film internationally.
Although not fully confirmed, it is believed that Ejiofor will play university professor Odenigbo, Newton his lover, Olanna, and Cooper will play Richard, a British expatriate in Nigeria to study.
The novel, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007, is set during the Nigerian-Biafran War of 1967-1970, when the south of Nigeria attempted to secede and form their own country, the Republic of Biafra, and tracks a revolutionary university professor, his lover, her sister, a British ex-pat, and their houseboy, who are caught up in the conflict across the 1960s.