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Daniel Kaluuya to Star In Netflix Adaptation of 'The Upper World' by Femi Fadugba

The upcoming sci-fi film is based on the debut YA novel from Togo-born, Nigerian-British author Femi Fadugba.

Daniel Kaluuya will return to the screen once again for the upcoming Netflix film The Upper World, based on the young adult, sci-fi novel by physicist turned author Femi Fadugba.

Here's a synopsis of The Upper World via 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.

The Upper Room is Fadugba's debut and is set to be the first in a series of novels from the writer. Kaluuya is one of the film adaptation's producers, with Fadugba acting as executive producer on the project.

"With Netflix bringing the film adaptation to audiences around the world, I'm excited about the impact the story can have," said Togo-born Nigerian-British Fadugba. "I'd love to one day see teachers putting the book on their summer reading lists. I'd love to help create a world where when people talk about the new Cardi B, Giggs or C.S song, they mention the ideas in The Upper World as part of the culture as well."

The trailer for the highly-anticipated film Judas and the Black Messiah, in which Kaluuya plays the late Black Panther revolutionary Fred Hampton, dropped last week. The film also stars LaKeith Stanfield and was co-produced by Ryan Coogler. Previously Kaluuya starred in the blockbuster movie Queen & Slim.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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