Yvonne Orji is bringing Yaa Gyasi’s “Transcendent Kingdom” to life in self-produced film

Yvonne Orji, in partnership with Sony Pictures, has announced her involvement in the adaptation of Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom.

Recently, Orji signed a two-year, first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television, where she will develop scripted drama and comedy series for both streaming and cable platforms. In an Instagram post, Yvonne expressed her excitement about uniting Ghana and Nigeria through art and her heartfelt gratitude to the Yaa Gyasi for letting her work on the project.

“I’m thrilled to be partnering with @sptv to create content we can see ourselves in. When I laid out my vision for shows that connect across the Diaspora, the excitement I was met with let me know this was the right home for me in this season.” – Yvonne Orji.

About the book

The book, “Transcendent Kingdom” is the second novel by Ghanaian-American author Yaa Gyasi, published in 2020. The novel centers around Gifty, a Ghanaian immigrant and neuroscience PhD candidate at Stanford University, who grapples with the loss and pain within her family. Her brother, Nana, dies of a heroin overdose after an injury leads to an opioid addiction, and her mother battles severe depression.

The narrative oscillates between Gifty’s present life, conducting research on addiction and depression in lab mice, and her past, recounting her family’s move from Ghana to Alabama and the ensuing struggles. Through this dual timeline, Gyasi explores themes of science and faith, immigration, family, mental illness, and the complexities of the African immigrant experience in America.

“Transcendent Kingdom” received critical acclaim for its profound emotional depth and insightful commentary on the intersections of science, religion, and personal trauma. It was praised for its compelling storytelling and Gyasi’s ability to weave complex themes into a poignant and accessible narrative. The novel has been regarded as a powerful follow-up to her debut, “Homegoing,” solidifying Gyasi’s place as a significant contemporary voice in literature.

Yaa Gyasi burst onto the literary scene with her debut novel, “Homegoing” (2016). This exceptional work garnered her numerous prestigious awards, including the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for Best First Book, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the American Book Award. She was also honoured by the National Book Foundation as one of the “5 under 35” for 2016. In 2020, Gyasi’s contributions to literature were further celebrated with the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature.

Congratulations to Yvonne Orji and Yaa Gyasi on this exciting adventure, and we hope to see more projects by Yvonne Orji come to life in the coming years!


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