Patrick Hipes of Deadline News writes this:
Netflix said Thursday that it is turning Sulwe, the bestselling children’s book by Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, into an animated musical, the latest move by the streamer to bolster its feature animation slate that already includes Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10½: A Space Age Adventure, Henry Selick’s Wendell & Wild, Nora Twomey’s My Father’s Dragon and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio among others.
Sulwe, written by Nyong’o with illustrations by Vashti Harrison, follows Sulwe, a child who has skin darker than anyone she knows (“Sulwe was born the color of midnight,” the book begins) — and all she wants is to be beautiful and bright. One night, she is visited by a shooting star sent by the Night and embarks on a magical journey where she learns the eye-opening story of the sisters Night and Day. The book tells a story about colorism, self-esteem and learning that true beauty comes from within.
The picture book was published in October 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and was a New York Times bestseller.
No details yet on the auspices of the movie, which joins a Netflix roster of animated titles including last year’s Oscar-nominated Klaus and Glen Keane’s Over the Moon, which bowed in October.
“The story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart,” Nyong’o, who was raised in Kenya, said in a statement today. “Growing up, I was uncomfortable in my dark skin. I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in the aspirational pages of books and magazines, or even on TV. 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, and an invitation for all who feel different and unseen to recognize their innate beauty and value. I am thrilled that the book is being adapted into an animated musical that we hope inspires children all around the world to celebrate their uniqueness.”
Nyong’o, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2014 for 12 Years a Slave to launch a career that has included starring roles in Jordan Peele’s Us last year, recently read Sulwe on Bookmarks, a Netflix show that features Black celebrities and artists reading children’s books from Black authors that highlight the Black experience.
This is a RainbowMe Approved book, and this will surely add to our roster of RainbowMe Approved films on Netflix. When there is something that is RainbowMe Approved, it features a positive image of a main character of color.
Check out more RainbowMe Approved shows on Netflix and elsewhere, right here: