EbonyLife Group CEO, Mo Abudu, is bringing Professor Wole Soyinka’s 1975 stage play Death and the King’s Horseman as a feature adaptation, in a project with streaming service Netflix.
Nigerian playwright and iconic novelist Soyinka is the first Black winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature — and its first African winner.
The film, set to be the first Yoruba language movie ever to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2022, is based on actual historical events that took place during British colonial rule in Nigeria.
“Our goal whenever we tell African stories is to be truly authentic and stay as close as possible to the original work. In this case, it was especially important because Professor Soyinka’s work is already well-known globally and he is one of the greatest literary talents of our time. It is a great honor to be trusted with telling this compelling African drama steeped in our local traditions,” says Abudu in an interview with FORBES AFRICA.
Soyinka’s play was adapted as a feature film by famed Nigerian playwright and director Biyi Bandele, who passed away on August 7, the month before its premiere.
The filmmaker had grabbed global headlines with his directorial work of the best-selling Chimamanda Adichie book Half of a Yellow Sun and the most recent Netflix series Blood Sisters.