Biyi Bandele to direct movie adaptation of Soyinka’s play

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Principal photography has kicked off for Netflix and EbonyLife studios’ latest production, the film adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s “Death and the King’s Horseman”.

Adapted for the screen by award-winning novelist and “Half of a Yellow Sun” director, Biyi Bandele who doubles as director, the film will be set as a period piece and will follow the plotline of Soyinka’s play.

Confirming the production, EbonyLife boss, Mo Abudu wrote on Instagram that: “We started with Castle & Castle 2, we then went on to Chief Daddy 2, then recently announced Blood Sisters, and yesterday, we started principal photography on something very dear and special- Death and the King’s Horseman”.While the film’s cast is yet to be unveiled, Abudu confirmed that it is co-produced by Heidi Uys, Judith Audu, Quinty Pillay, Adeola Osunkujo, and James Amuta. The Director of Photography is the award-winning cinematographer, Lance Newer.

The play is based on a real incident that took place in Nigeria during the colonial era: the horseman of a Yoruba King was prevented from committing ritual suicide by the colonial authorities. In addition to the intervention of the colonial authorities, Soyinka calls the horseman’s conviction toward suicide into question, posing a problem that throws off the community’s balance.Bandele is a UK-based Nigerian writer for fictiontheatrejournalism, television, film and radio. He moved to London in 1990. He won the International Student Playscript competition of 1989 with an unpublished play, Rain, before claiming the 1990 British Council Lagos Award for a collection of poems.

His directorial debut film “Half of a Yellow Sun” was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and received a “rapturous reception”.
 He also directed the third season of the popular MTV drama series, “Shuga

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