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In the Works: Joe Wright and Chiwetel Ejiofor Join Forces for Big-Screen Version of 'A Season in the Congo' (VIDEO)

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood September 17, 2013 at 2:07PM

Director Joe Wright is in the works adapting Aime Cesaire's play "A Season in the Congo," which centers on the 1960 Congo rebellion and the assassination of political leader Patrice Lumumba, for the big screen. Chiwetel Ejiofor, star of this awards season's current title to beat "12 Years a Slave," is set to star as Lumumba.
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Chiwetel Ejiofor, top and center, in the stage version of "A Season in the Congo"
Alastair Muir Chiwetel Ejiofor, top and center, in the stage version of "A Season in the Congo"

Director Joe Wright ("Anna Karenina") is in the works adapting Aime Cesaire's 1966 play "A Season in the Congo," which centers on the 1960 Congo rebellion and the assassination of political leader Patrice Lumumba, for the big screen. Chiwetel Ejiofor, star of this awards season's current title to beat "12 Years a Slave," is set to star as Lumumba.

Ejiofor played Lumumba this past summer in Wright's stage version of "A Season in the Congo" at UK theater the Young Vic. It was Ejiofor's first return to the stage following his 2007 turn as Othello. 

The film is one of two productions resulting from the Young Vic's recently announced plans to shoot feature films. The theater has made a name for itself in presenting modern, edgy versions of stage classics, new plays and casting emerging talent alongside well-known stars. Now it is looking to make original films of plays, borrowing heavily from the stage versions' cast and crew.

Watch the trailer for the stage production below.

This article is related to: News, Joe Wright, Chiwetel Ejiofor, News, IN THE WORKS


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.