Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Meet the Cast of 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + the Characters from the American Original They Each Play (Premieres in 2 Weeks) Meet the Cast of 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + the Characters from the American Original They Each Play (Premieres in 2 Weeks) Netflix's 'The Getdown' Directed by Baz Luhrman Has Found Its Female Lead Netflix's 'The Getdown' Directed by Baz Luhrman Has Found Its Female Lead Meet the 3 Leads for the Next 'Star Wars' Movie (John Boyega Is One of Them) + Watch New Teaser Meet the 3 Leads for the Next 'Star Wars' Movie (John Boyega Is One of Them) + Watch New Teaser Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) TV One Shores Up 2015-2016 Slate with 8 New Series, 16 Original Movies + New Production Partnerships TV One Shores Up 2015-2016 Slate with 8 New Series, 16 Original Movies + New Production Partnerships 'Walking Dead' Creator Says Rick and Morgan's Reunion Will Be "The Spine" of Season 6 'Walking Dead' Creator Says Rick and Morgan's Reunion Will Be "The Spine" of Season 6 Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu' Quietly Grosses Over $1 Million in USA Box Office - Rare for an African Film Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu' Quietly Grosses Over $1 Million in USA Box Office - Rare for an African Film Rumorville: Ernie Hudson Circling T'Chaka Role in Marvel's 'Black Panther' Movie Rumorville: Ernie Hudson Circling T'Chaka Role in Marvel's 'Black Panther' Movie Watch Cuba Gooding Jr. Wield a Gun and Snort Coke in his Underwear in Clip from 'Big Time in Hollywood, FL' Watch Cuba Gooding Jr. Wield a Gun and Snort Coke in his Underwear in Clip from 'Big Time in Hollywood, FL' People in Chicago Are Not Happy with Spike Lee’s 'Chiraq' People in Chicago Are Not Happy with Spike Lee’s 'Chiraq' Check Out the First Trailer for HBO's New Dramedy Series 'Ballers' Starring Dwayne Johnson Check Out the First Trailer for HBO's New Dramedy Series 'Ballers' Starring Dwayne Johnson 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper,' on Serial Killer Who Murdered Black Women for 25 Years, Debuts April 27 on HBO 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper,' on Serial Killer Who Murdered Black Women for 25 Years, Debuts April 27 on HBO Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Andrew Dosunmu Takes Over Steve McQueen's Fela Kuti Biopic. No Word On Chiwetel Ejiofor

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act September 16, 2013 at 4:07PM

In my interview with Steve McQueen over the weekend, one of the questions on my list to ask him, was whether he still planned to direct a feature film based on the life Afrobeat pioneer and activist, Fela Kuti, which was to star Chiwetel Ejiofor.
13
Fela

In my interview with Steve McQueen over the weekend, one of the questions on my list to ask him, was whether he still planned to direct a feature film based on the life Afrobeat pioneer and activist, Fela Kuti, which was to star Chiwetel Ejiofor

But, unfortunately, given only 10 minutes, I didn't get to that question (the interview will be posted in the next couple of weeks).

However, it looks like I didn't have to, because we have an answer to that question this afternoon.

Andrew Dosunmu

Andrew Dosunmu (who's sophomore feature, Mother Of George opened theatrically over the weekend to strong per screen numbers) has been hired by Focus Features to direct the same Fela Kuti film that McQueen was previously attached to.

The news was announced by Focus CEO James Schamus and co-CEO Andrew Karpen this afternoon. 

The film has no connection to the Bill T. Jones Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Fela!, but will instead be based on Michael Veal’s 2000 book Fela: The Life and Times of An African Musical Icon, and has been adapted to script format by Nigerian author Chris Abani and James Schamus, who penned the most recent drafts.

Whether Chiwetel Ejiofor will still star as Fela isn't yet known, however, given the fact that he's seemingly *hot* at the moment, thanks to the critical acclaim 12 Years A Slave has been receiving, after its Telluride and Toronto premieres, I wouldn't be surprised if an announcement is eventually made, revealing his attachment.

This is big for Dosunmu, a Nigerian himself, after the still barely-seen Restless City (his feature film directorial debut) and the newly-released Mother Of George. His enthralling visual style meshing with Fela's boldness and brashness in terms of both his persona and music, should make for an interesting collision on screen.

Let's hope Bradford Young is brought along for the ride.

I have to say how pleased I am that Focus Features is going with a black director on this (a Nigerian director especially), while other studios continue to produce biopics based on the lives of black public figures, written and directed by white writers and directors - most recently Tate Taylor replacing Spike Lee on producer Brian Grazer's James Brown biopic.

Stay tuned...

This article is related to: Andrew Dosunmu, Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor


Shadow & ActNewsletter