Nia DaCosta is set to direct the upcoming film adaption of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ New York Times bestseller and debut novel, The Water Dancer.
The surrealist story follows Hiram Walker, a young man born into slavery who lost his mother as a child and over time loses memory of her completely.
After almost drowning when he “crashes a carriage into a river” and is saved from an unknown and mysterious power he never knew existed, Hiram struggles to understand his own magical gift, loss and truth.
Following publication in September 2019, The Water Dancer reached quick success and was dubbed one of the best books of the year by publications including Time, NPR, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Vanity Fair and Esquire, according to Deadline.
The novel trailed the success of Coates’ work as an author and journalist’s of nonfiction books, including Between the World and Me and We Were Eight Years in Power.
DaCosta’s involvement in the project builds on the industry’s increasing demand for the director and her meteoric success in recent years.
In 2018, her debut project Little Woods starring Tessa Thompson and Lily James received critical acclaim at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Her follow-up project, 2021’s horror film Candyman, scored at the box office with historic success.
Maceo-Lyn (Kamilah Forbes, Kenyatta Matthews and Coates), Plan B Entertainment (Brad Grey, Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Aniston) and Harpo Films (Oprah Winfrey) will be behind the project’s production.
Both DaCosta and Plan B Entertainment have worked with MGM in the past — and it’s reported that the film studio is attached to the upcoming production of The Water Dancer as well.