Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira’s ‘Americanah’ HBO Max Series Casts Zackary Momoh in Lead Role

By Will Thorne

Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira’s HBO Max series has found another lead.

Zackary Momoh, whose recent credits include the 2019 pics “Doctor Sleep” and “Harriet,” will star in a lead role opposite Nyong’o in the WarnerMedia platform’s adaptation of “Americanah.”

Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel, “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, with Ifemelu heading for America, where, despite her academic success, she 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.

Gurira will write the pilot and exec produce alongside Nyong’o under her Eba Productions banner. Plan B Entertainment will also produce, with Andrea Calderwood of Potboiler Television, Didi Rea and Danielle Del of D2 Productions, and Nancy Won executive producing as well.

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Nyong’o had previously planned to adapt the novel into a film in which she would star alongside David Oyelowo. She revealed last year that the plans had changed to adapt it into a series instead. The series marks a reunion for Nyong’o and Gurira, who starred together in the blockbuster Marvel film “Black Panther.”

Momoh will next be seen in HBO’s upcoming Joss Whedon sci-fi drama “The Nevers.” The British-Nigerian actor’s additional credits include starring in the Netflix crime drama “Seven Seconds” and “The Kill Team.”

He is represented by United Talent Agency and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren & Richman in the U.S., and Identity Agency Group in the U.K.