Chiwetel Ejiofor To Direct Adaptation Of William Kankwamba Autobiography 'The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind'

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by Charlie Schmidlin
July 8, 2013 10:22 AM
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A talented presence mostly absent from this past cinematic year, Chiwetel Ejiofor is thankfully set for not one but two centerpiece roles soon: first this fall in Steve McQueen's “Twelve Years a Slave,” and later in Craig Zobel's thriller “Z for Zachariah.” And another dramatic project has captured Ejiofor's attention, but it's one that will find him instead in two new creative roles -- writer and director.

The story of William Kankwamba, a Malawian man who, at age 14, built his family an electricity-generating windmill from basic library book plans, has spawned a wave of creative ventures -- TED Talks, a co-written autobiography, “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind,” to a feature-length documentary, “William and the Windmill.” Now, after the story's initial wave of publicity, Ejiofor has been announced to write and direct a film adaptation of Kankwamba's book for the big screen.

Ejiofor was confirmed (via Deadline) as writing the adaptation at the start of this year, but his directorial leanings were cemented just recently, according to the Daily Telegraph (print edition, not online). There is no release or casting info set yet (Ejiofor will not act in it), but the prospect of the “Children of Men” actor stepping behind the camera is intriguing, a question mark, and a newly-anticipated shift in career. As more info slowly emerges, check out the trailer below for filmmakers Ben Nabors and Tom Rielly's documentary, “William and the Windmill.”

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