Rafiki director Wanuri Kaihu from Kenya has grabbed another big gig.
Millie Bobby Brown and Wanuri Kahiu are teaming up to adapt acclaimed YA novel The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin. Universal has optioned the rights to the 2015 book published by Little Brown and is developing the adaptation with producers Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane of MWM Studios, Bruna Papandrea, and Reese Witherspoon.
Jellyfish tells the story of a young girl named Suzy as she enters seventh grade. When her former best friend dies in a drowning accident — and not believing her mother who says that sometimes “these things happen” — Suzy becomes convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. She retreats into a silent world of her imagination and begins crafting a globe-trotting plan to prove her theory, with the book exploring the ideas of life and death, the frailty of friendships and the potential of hope right next door.
The book was Benjamin’s debut novel. It was not only a commercial success, but also a literary smash, named as a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award.
Kaihu made history with Rafkifi, a lesbian love story which premiered and Cannes and was initially banned in her home country of Kenya.