He’s faced the racist horrors of suburbia in Get Out, and weathered Wakanda’s superpowered royal strife in Black Panther. Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya next expands his genre filmography with an intriguing new project for Netflix, based on a buzzed-about YA fantasy novel by debut author Femi Fadugba.
The book, The Upper World, isn’t even out yet, but it’s the first in a trilogy, which means if the film’s a hit, there’ll be plenty of follow-up source material. And the premise of the Netflix movie certainly sounds intriguing, according to Variety: “Esso is caught in a deadly feud and on the verge of expulsion when he realises 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 15 years ago.”
Kaluuya is set to play the gifted Esso, and is also a producer on the project. It’s interesting to note that Fadugba is a physicist in addition to being a fiction writer, and his own unique background informs The Upper World’s story. In a statement shared with Variety, the author remarked that “throughout my life, I’ve lived in places like Kigali, Somerset, Oxford, and Philadelphia, which has always made me wonder: how do I reconcile these contrasting environments I grew up in with each other? …Then one day, came a mad realisation — 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.”
Hopefully, they’ll all want to watch it, too. So far there’s no word on who might direct the adaptation or co-star with Kaluuya, but we’ll bring you more on The Upper World as and when we know it.