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“Death and the King's Horseman”: MO Abudu is adapting Wole Soyinka's book into film

MO Abudu has announced the big screen adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s "Death and the King’s Horseman" by her production company, EbonyLife Films.

The filmmaker made the announcement on Instagram with a photo of herself and the renowned Nigerian playwright, Soyinka, having lunch at Scotts in London.

According to Abudu, EbonyLife Films has acquired the rights to turn the great work of literature into a feature film for global distribution.

Written by Soyinka during his political exile from Nigeria, "Death and the King’s Horseman" is based on a real incident that took place in Nigeria during British colonial rule: the horseman of a Yoruba King was prevented from committing ritual suicide by the colonial authorities

About the book "Death and King’s Horseman"

Based on events that took place in Oyo, an ancient Yoruba city of Nigeria, "Death and the King’s Horseman" follows the intertwined lives of Elesin Oba, the king’s chief horseman; his son, Olunde, who is studying medicine in England; and Simon Pilkings, the colonial district officer.

The king has died and Elesin, his chief horseman, is expected by law and custom to commit suicide and accompany his ruler to heaven. The stage is set for a dramatic climax when Pilkings learns of the ritual and decides to intervene.

play Death and the King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka

 

The announcement by Abudu comes months after Tunde Kelani announced the big screen adaptation of another of Soyinka’s books, "The Lion and the Jewel."

No cast or director has been officially attached to "Death and King’s Horseman."

Other upcoming projects from EbonyLife Films include "Chief Daddy," a star-studded film set for December release.

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