Netflix’s Adaptation of Femi Fadugba’s The Upper World Will Star Daniel Kaluuya

Netflix has picked up the option to adapt Femi Fadugba’s forthcoming YA novel The Upper World, with Black Mirror, Get Out, and Black Panther actor Daniel Kaluuya set to star.

Fadugba sold the novel (part of a two-book series) to Penguin Random House Children’s Books in a 15-way auction earlier this week, according to The Bookseller, and it’s set to be released in the UK in 2021, with a US release to follow in 2022.

According to Netflix, the novel follows Esso (who’ll be played by Kaluuya), a man who finds that he has the ability to look into both the past and future, and Rhia, a woman living in the year 2035, who is “unaware that the mysterious stranger she’s about to meet desperately needs her help to avert a bullet fired 15 years ago.”

In a letter attached to the announcement, Fadugba (who studied physics at Oxford and earned a national award for it), wrote about the inspiration behind the novel: The same night that he spoke before Parliament, a fifteen-year-old boy was killed in his district. “A 20-minute bus ride was all that separated those two completely different worlds,”

“Then one day, came a mad realization – that I could combine the story of a kid from South London with the physics of time travel. And maybe even make it gripping enough that the nerds, the hustlers, the jocks (and the rest of us in between) would all want to read it.”

There’s no word on when the film will begin streaming, but it certainly looks like a project worth keeping a close eye out for.


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