Lupita Nyong’o’s Children’s Book ‘Sulwe’ Gets Adapted As Animated Musical At Netflix

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o’s children’s book titled Sulwe will be adapted into an animated feature film set at Netflix. The illustrated book created by Vashti Harrison and written by Nyong’o had already been a New York Times best seller when it was first released in October 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books.

Today, Netflix announced that the book penned by the Black Panther star would be adapted into an animated musical. The streaming website has already shared a video of Nyong’o reading Sulwe as part of its Bookmarks series for young readers.

The Academy Award winner took to Twitter to share the news. “Sulwe is going to be an animated movie!! Thank you to the readers of all ages who have joined #Sulwe on her starry ride. I’m so excited for this next adventure on @Netflix!#BrightnessIsJustWhoYouAre,” she wrote. 

About Lupita Nyong’o Sulwe

The book follows the story of a young Kenyan girl named Sulwe. She wishes for a lighter skin than her natural dark skin. One night, her perspective is changed by a shooting star sent by the Night that opens her eyes. Sulwe is a story of exploring the beauty within. 

The logline of the children’s book reads:

“Sulwe” is the story of a girl named Sulwe with skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone she knows, but all she wants is to be beautiful and bright. One night, Sulwe 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. Sulwe is a story about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

In a statement, wherein Nyong’o spoke about her book, she mentioned that Sulwe is a “mirror for dark-skinned children”.

“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,” the actor said. 

However, no director or cast has been attached to the project yet.

Sulwe has been added to the original Netflix adaptation list which includes Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Adventure, and Minkyu Lee’s The Witch Boy, along with a Chicken Run sequel from Aardman Animations.

Lupita Nyong’o will next feature in the spy film titled The 355 to be released early in 2022 and the Trevor Noah biopic Born a Crime.


Photo credit: Lupita Nyongo/ Twitter