The book, which was originally published in 2006 by Knopf/Anchor, tells the story of two sisters, Olanna and Kainene, during the Nigeria-Biafran war which claim the lives of about 3 million people, and lasted over 3 years (1967—1970). It is a sweeping story which explores the effects of the war and the relationships between the fraternal twins, a “revolutionary” Professor, a British writer, and a houseboy. The novel, upon its release, received critical acclaim and went on to win literary awards among them the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction.
It is reported that the movie will be shot in Nigeria. British producers, the BAFTA winner Andrea Calderwood (The Last King of Scotland, Generation Kill) and Gail Egan (The Constant Gardener, Happy-Go-Lucky) have secured financial backing from Nigeria and the British Film Institute. The movie will be directed by Biyi Bandele (author of Burma Boy).
Biyi Bandele who has recorded some success in the London theater circuit, including his adaptation of the semi post-colonial classic Things Fall Apart, will make his directorial debut with Half of A Yellow Sun. It is interesting to see how he will handle this but if the cast he has assembled is anything to go by, ardent fans of Adichie probably have nothing to worry about. Bandele has assembled a fabulous cast which thus far includes Chiwetel Ejiofor (Salt, Children of Men), Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger, An Education, My Week with Marilyn), and Thandie Newton (Crash, Beloved).
The roles for each member of the cast have not been confirmed but it is likely that the lead role would go to Ejiofor as Odenigbo, Newton would play Olanna, and Cooper would play Richard, the British expatriate. Actors for the enviable role of Ugwu, the houseboy, and Kainene, Olanna’s twin, have not been announced yet.
The movie is expected to hit the big screen in 2013.
Nigerian author and playwright, Biyi Bandele, makes his directorial debut in a highly anticipated screen adaptation of an epic, award-winning novel