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Netflix has unveiled plans for Sulwe, an animated musical feature based on the graphic novel series of the same title by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o.
The book, featured in its own episode of the Netflix original series Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices!, features Sulwe, whose skin is darker than everyone she knows as she wants to be beautiful and bright. One night, Sulwe is visited by a shooting star sent by the Night, and embarks on a magical journey that changes everything by teaching true beauty comes from within.
“The story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart,” Nyong’o said in a statement, as she recounted being uncomfortable as a child in her dark skin.
“It was a long journey for me to arrive at self-love. Sulwe is a mirror for dark-skinned children to see themselves, a window for those who may not be familiar with colorism, to have understanding and empathy,” she added.
The Sulwe book is illustrated by Vashti Harrison. The animated musical will be produced by Nyong’o, who earned the best supporting actress Academy Award for her performance in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave.
Her other acting credits include in J.J. Abrams’ 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jon Favreau’s 2016 film The Jungle Book and Ryan Coogler’s 2018 film Black Panther, the first superhero movie to star a majority black cast. Nyong’o also played two characters in Jordan Peele’s Us.
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