Yesterday, it was announced that South African comedian and The Daily Show host Trevor Noah signed an overall deal by Viacom to make films and television shows for the Comedy Central parent company through the new international production and distribution company called Day Zero Productions.
The first project in this deal is going to be a film adaptation of Noah’s 2016 book BORN A CRIME starring Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o as Noah’s mother, and Liesl Tommy — who like Noah, is of South African descent and whom directed Nyong’o in her Broadway debut Eclipsed — will direct the film.
Paramount Players, Viacom’s new film division led by Brian Robbins, will produce the film with Noah and Day Zero along with Mainstay Entertainment’s Norman Aladjem, Derek Van Pelt and Sanaz Yamin, and Nyong’o via her Eba Productions.
Repped by WME and MGMT Entertainment, Tommy was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa during Apartheid before moving to the States with her family when she was 15. She has mainly been directing theater with a theatrical version of Disney’s Frozen at Disneyland in California, and producing and directing Eclipsed on Broadway starring Nyong’o and her Black Panther co-star Danai Gurira, for which Tommy received a Tony nomination.
Thrilled to share that @LieslTommy is directing the film adaptation of @TrevorNoah‘s #BornACrime! She’s a powerhouse whom I have known & admired for years & directed my broadway debut, Eclipsed. I can’t wait & am proud to have a South African woman at the helm of this story. pic.twitter.com/zKluX1u0nU
— Lupita Nyong’o (@Lupita_Nyongo) March 26, 2018
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor