Nia DaCosta will direct the film adaptation of The Water Dancer for MGM

According to Deadline, candy man director Nia DaCosta has signed on to direct MGM’s upcoming film adaptation of The Water Dancer, based on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ bestselling 2019 debut novel of the same name. The project comes from producers Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt.

DaCosta first gained recognition through her acclaimed directorial debut Little wood, which starred Tessa Thompson and Lily James. Last year, she completed her first major project in the form of candy man remake, which was co-written and produced by Jordan Peele. Her other upcoming project will be her biggest yet, as she is currently helming Marvel Studios’ upcoming MCU movie. Wonderswith Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani.

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Located in the pre-Civil War south, The Water Dancer revolves around Hiram Walker. Hiram was born into slavery and has an incredible photographic memory – although he has no memory of the mother who abandoned him when he was young. After nearly drowning in a car accident, he discovers his superhuman ability which was suddenly triggered by his powerful memories of his mother. As he strives to understand this power, he becomes involved in the Underground Railroad and encounters several historical figures.

The film adaptation was also written by Coates. Published in 2019, the novel became an instant hit and was featured on The New York Times fiction bestseller list. It was also featured on Oprah Winfrey’s Apple TV+ Oprah’s book club where the billionaire talk show host described it as one of the best books she’s ever read in her entire life.

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The Water Dancer will also be produced by Kamilah Forbes, who worked with Coates on the theatrical event of between the world and me. Winfrey and Pitt are set to produce through their Harpo Films and Plan B banners respectively. This is the second collaboration between Harpo and Plan B, who first worked on 2014’s Selma.

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