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Nia DaCosta Set To Direct Adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘The Water Dancer’

Nia DaCosta Set To Direct Adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘The Water Dancer’

This is going to be great!

Nia DaCosta is set to direct an adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ novel, The Water Dancer, produced by Harpo Films, Deadline reports. 

Coates released his novel The Water Dancer in 2019, becoming #1 on The New York Times bestseller and being named as Oprah Winfrey’s first selection in her Book Club partnership with Apple. Since its release, it has been named one of the best novels of the year by a number of publications including Time, NPR, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and Vanity Fair. To date, Random House imprint One World has circulated over a million copies in print. Now, Coates is adapting the film for the big screen under his Maceo-Lyn company, tapping Nia DaCosta (Candyman) as director. 

The story follows Young Hiram Walker, a child born into bondage who loses his mother at a young age, losing nearly all memory of his mother over time. After a freak carriage crash into a river causes him to nearly drown, Hiram is saved by a mysterious power that helps him to begin to unlock parts of himself he grapples to understand. 

Coates will produce for MGM alongside Plan B and Winfrey’s Harpo Films with DaCosta as director. The budding filmmaker received critical acclaim for her debut feature Little Woods, which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, following up with her box office hit, Candyman for MGM. DaCosta is currently making history as the first Black woman to direct a Marvel Studios movie with her work on The Marvels which is set for release in 2023. 

This is Coates’ second partnership with Plan B, the two also working on developing Wrong Answer, a feature based on a story ran in the New Yorker by Rachel Aviv of the same name. Coates is helming the adaptation which features Michael B. Jordan with Ryan Coogler as director. Coates launched his production company Maceo-Lyn in partnership with his longtime friends Kamilah Forbes and Kenyatta Matthews. 

No word yet on when The Water Dancer will hit the big screen but we can’t wait!

Photos Courtesy of Parrish Lewis/Universal Pictures/MGM Pictures/Gabriella Demczuk/NYT/Redux