Get ready to see the past and future with The Upper World! Netflix has acquired the film rights to the YA sci-fi novel of the same name by newcomer Femi Fadugba, Deadline has reported. Daniel Kaluuya, of Get Out and Black Panther fame, is slated to star in the adaptation. Additionally, Kaluuya will serve as producer. Fadugba is also producing alongside him.
The Upper World marks Fadugba’s debut novel. It will boast a UK premiere via Penguin UK in 2021. A United States debut is set for early 2022 via HarperCollins. Here’s an official synopsis of The Upper World courtesy of Deadline:
Set in Peckham, London, the story follows Esso, who is caught in a deadly feud and on the verge of expulsion when he realizes he has an unexpected gift: access to a world where he can see glimpses of the past and the future. A generation away, Rhia is walking to football practice in 2035, unaware that the mysterious stranger she’s about to meet desperately needs her help to avert a bullet fired fifteen years ago.
Now, Eric Newman first brought the book to Netflix. Tendo Nagenda, VP of Netflix Films, sang Fadugba’s praises. Nagenda hailed the new author as a name “you won’t be able to forget.” In addition, the VP gushed about viscerally connecting with The Upper World.
It’s a rare feeling, made even more special when you also have the opportunity to bring such a story to life on film.
Fadugba boasts a master’s from Oxford University, where he published in Quantum Physics and was a Thouron Scholar at UPenn. He’s also written for the Financial Times and Huffington Post. Kaluuya’s next project is Judas and the Black Messiah, where he’ll star opposite Martin Sheen and LaKeith Stanfield.
I think the premise is an intriguing one, and certainly an innovative mark in the world of science fiction. Fadugba’s expertise in Quantum Physics makes it even better. Usually it bodes well if a new author can snag a film deal for their novel prior to the actual book’s release. Kaluuya is also a stellar performer and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the role.
What do you think of The Upper World and Kaluuya’s starring role? Sound off in the comments below!
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