Any day that includes the news that Nia DaCosta is staying booked and busy is a damn good one. The brilliant mind behind 2019's "Candyman" and the self-proclaimed "Marvel Trash" director behind the upcoming "Captain Marvel" sequel, "The Marvels," DaCosta has been tapped to direct a feature adaptation of the Ta-Nehisi Coates novel "The Water Dancer."
Per Deadline, the picture comes from MGM, Plan B, Maceo-Lyn, and Harpo Films, Oprah's production company. "The Water Dancer" made it to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, in small part to the Oprah Winfrey seal of approval, as she chose the book as the first selection in Oprah's Book Club after partnering with Apple. The novel was also chosen as one of the best of the year by Time, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Esquire, Vanity Fair, and NPR.
The script is being adapted by Coates' for the screen, telling the story of Hiram Walker, a man born on a tobacco plantation and into slavery during the Antebellum South. Despite his possession of a photographic memory, following the death of his mother, Hiram is unable to remember her. However, one day Hiram envisions his mother dancing while he is driving a carriage across a bridge, and when he finally breaks from the vision, discovers that the carriage he was driving has crashed into the water, killing his white half-brother. Hiram discovers that his survival was because of a superhuman power he possesses called "Conduction" which can transport himself and others across impossible distances, triggered only by powerful memories. Hiram later uses his powers to help those on the Underground Railroad. The title has so far sold over a million copies.
DaCosta Keeps Killing The Game
The film is the second collaboration between Plan B and Ta-Nehisi Coates, who are both in development on "Wrong Answer," an adaptation of Rachel Aviv's New Yorker story of the same name about teachers in the Atlanta Public Schools system who faced criminal charges for cheating on state-administered standardized tests being directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Michael B. Jordan.
As for DaCosta, "The Water Dancer" marks her second effort with MGM following "Candyman." Her debut feature "Little Woods" featuring Tessa Thompson and Lily James was created through the Sundance Institute, before being acquired through Neon. The success of both films lead her to nabbing the directorial duties for "The Marvels," which is currently in post-production. Chances are we're going to see some wonderfully adventurous works from DaCosta in the wake of her Marvel movie, and witness the continued rise of one of the most interesting new directorial talents in years.
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