The Adaptation Of Femi Fadugba’s ‘The Upper World’ Is Going To Netflix, With Daniel Kaluuya To Star In And Produce

by Duke Magazine

A film adaptation of Femi Fadugba’s YA fantasy novel “The Upper World” will be going to Netflix, with Oscar nominee, Daniel Kaluuya on board to star and produce.

Kaluuya will play Esso, who is at the center of the film’s time-bending tale, producing the movie alongside Screen Arcade’s Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless. Newman brought the novel to Netflix, which has acquired the worldwide rights to adapt it into a feature film, where Fadugba serves as executive producer.  

“I can count on one hand the times I’ve connected with a novel so viscerally. It’s a rare feeling, made even more special when you also have the opportunity to bring such a story to life on film,” Netflix Film’s vice president Tendo Nagenda said in a statement. “Films can impact and expand the way people see and experience life. ‘The Upper World’ will be one of those films. I’m neither from the place nor ‘time’ depicted in the pages of the debut novel of physicist-turned-author Femi Fadugba. However, through staggeringly skilled storytelling, I was taken on a mind-and-heart altering adventure through the book’s characters and experiences.”

“The Upper World” is Fadugba’s debut novel, and the first in a planned series. Penguin UK and HarperCollins US are expected to publish the subsequent novels in mid-2021 and early 2022, respectively.

Kaluuya is represented by CAA and Management 360. The actor previously executive produced last year’s “Queen & Slim” and stars as Fred Hampton in the upcoming “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

CAA represents Fadugba, in conjunction with Claire Wilson of the RCW Literary Agency, and brokered the rights deal with Netflix.

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