Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo Eyed for Disney’s ‘Queen of Katwe’
Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo are inarguably two of the hottest stars right now, following Nyong’o’s Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress in 2013's ‘12 Years a Slave,’ and Oyelowo’s performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in ‘Selma,’ which is generating some serious awards buzz. And now these two immensely talented actors may team up for a new Disney film about an African chess prodigy—if so, this new film may generate some awards buzz of its own before production even begins.
Deadline reports that Nyong’o and Oyelowo are in talks to star in ‘Queen of Katwe’ for Disney, based on the 2011 ESPN magazine article by Tim Crothers, who went on to write the book ‘The Queen Of Katwe: A Story Of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster.’ The story centers on Phiona Mutesi, a young girl who hailed from a Ugandan slum, who rose to prominence as a chess prodigy. Under the tutelage of her coach and mentor Robert Katende, Mutesi went on to compete in the World Chess Olympiad.
Nyong’o is being eyed for the role of Harriet Mutesi, Phiona’s mother, while Oyelowo would play the role of Katende, whose belief in Mutesi helped take her all the way to the top. ‘Queen of Katwe’ will be helmed by Mira Nair, the director of ‘Vanity Fair’ and ‘Amelia.’ Nyong’o and Oyelowo are also set to star together in ‘Americanah,’ based on the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie novel.
Oyelowo has been nominated for a Best Actor award at the upcoming Golden Globes for his fantastic leading performance in Ava DuVernay’s ‘Selma.’ Nyong’o stars in the upcoming films ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and ‘Jon Favreau’s live-action ‘The Jungle Book,’ which are both set up at Disney along with ‘Queen of Katwe.’