Chiwetel Ejiofor Plans A Season In The Congo

Joe Wright on to direct the play adaptation

He’s gathering Oscar buzz thanks to Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave, and Chiwetel Ejiofor is putting together another project that could land him just as much attention. Ejiofor, along with director Joe Wright, is working on an adaptation of the Young Vic theatre production A Season In The Congo.

Aimé Césaire's play is an epic retelling of the 1960 Congo rebellion and the assassination of the charismatic political leader Patrice Lumumba, played by Ejiofor.

It’s part of the new programme for the Vic, which is exploring the notion of turning successful productions into films. But unlike other companies, which hand the rights off to independent producers, the Vic team wants to make the films themselves, with Congo and Carrie Cracknell’s staging of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (currently still showing in London and utterly brilliant) as the first attempts.

Ejioforr and Wright presented Congo at the theatre, and now they’re gearing up to put it on screen, planning a shoot on location in Kinshasa. But before a frame of the film version sees the light of day, a short film based on the material will arrive in November. Meanwhile, check out a trailer for the play, discovered online by the eagle eyes of The Playlist.