Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor Land in Nigeria for 'Half of a Yellow Sun'

7:28 AM PST 05/14/2012 by Stuart Kemp
Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

Adaptation of the prize-winning novel is directed by Nigerian theater director, playwright and novelist Biyi Bandele and produced by Andrea Calderwood and Gail Egan.

LONDON -- Thandie Newton, Chiwetel EjioforAnika Noni Rose and Joseph Mawle have assembled in Calabar, Nigeria, for the movie adaptation of prize-winning novel Half of a Yellow Sun.

The adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel is produced by Andrea Calderwood and Gail Egan and marks the big-screen debut of Nigerian theater director, playwright and novelist Biyi Bandele, who has adapted Adichie’s bestseller for the screen.

Fresh face John Boyega, who turned a few heads in last year’s Attack the Block, also stars alongside several Nigerian household names including Onyeka Onwenu, Genevieve Nnaji and veteran actor Zack Orji.

BIlled as an epic love story, the movie weaves together the lives of four people swept up in the turbulence of war and centers on Olanna (Newton) and Kainene (Rose), glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family.

Returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, Olanna shocks her family by going to live with her lover in the dusty university town of Nsukka, and Kainene turns out to be a successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests -- and surprises herself when she falls in love with Richard (Mawle), an English writer.

They both become embroiled in the Nigerian civil war.

The film will play out to original music by Nigerian songwriter Cobhams Asuquo and singer-songwriter Keziah Jones.

Sales, finance and production label Ealing Metro is selling international rights to the project at the upcoming Marche du Film in France.

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