South African-born director Liesl Tommy has been signed to direct the big-screen adaptation of Trevor Noah's autobiography, "Born A Crime".
This is Noah's first project with Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central, and will be released through their venture Day Zero Productions.
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o will star as Noah's mother. Nyong'o and Tommy have worked together before on the Broadway production "Eclipsed", for which Tommy received a Tony award nomination in 2016.
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
Tommy made history with that nomination, as the first woman of colour to ever be nominated for a for Best Director Tony for a play. Tommy was born in Cape Town and grew up there, until she moved to Boston, Massachusetts when she was 15-years-old.
"When I came home to Cape Town for Christmas in 2016, I gave my father, my brother and uncles Trevor's book as Christmas presents. I loved it so much, and thought they'd love it too, because of the combination of humour and love of family with the apartheid backdrop."
"Never in a million years did I imagine I'd one day be directing the film of that book. I've spent many years working all over the world, to finally get to come home to South Africa to shoot a project like this is a dream come true."
Notable work Tommy has worked on:
- "Les Miserables"
- "Party People"
- "The Good Negro" and "Frozen" at the Disney California Adventure Park's Hyperion Theatre
- An episode of "Queen Sugar" and "Dietland"