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Yvonne Orji to Bring Yaa Gyasi’s ‘Transcendent Kingdom’ to Screen

Nigerian-American actress partners with Sony Pictures Television after four-year pursuit to adapt acclaimed novel.
April 29, 2024
6:33 pm
Yvonne Orji

Sony Pictures Television has announced the development of a film adaptation of Yaa Gyasi’s acclaimed novel “Transcendent Kingdom,” with Nigerian-American actress Yvonne Orji at the helm.


The project marks a significant milestone for the Emmy-nominated Orji, who has been ardently pursuing the rights to the story for four years.


Orji’s involvement with “Transcendent Kingdom” comes as part of her first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television. Under this two-year agreement, she will develop scripted drama and comedy series for cable and streaming platforms. The adaptation is evidence of Orji’s hard work, talent, and creativity, which have earned her acclaim for her role as “Molly” in HBO’s “Insecure.”


“Transcendent Kingdom,” Gyasi’s second novel following her breakout hit “Homegoing” in 2016, follows the life of Gifty, a neuroscientist struggling with her family’s immigrant experience, addiction, and depression. The story alternates between Gifty’s childhood in rural Alabama and her present-day scientific endeavors in the Bay Area, resulting in an exploration of faith, science, and the human life.


With her experience as a comedian, actor, writer, and producer, Orji is poised to deliver a fitting portrayal of Gyasi’s work. The project also showcases Sony Pictures Television’s dedication to bringing diverse talents to the screen.


In announcing the adaptation, Orji expressed her love for Gyasi for trusting her with the story and urged networks not to overlook African stories, which deserve a place on the global stage.


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