Not content with winning an American Factory, Barack and Michelle Obama are taking steps toward feature territory. Exit West, a 2017 novel by Pakastani author Mohsin Hamid, made the former US president’s annual list of best books he read that year. Plucking it from that distinguished shelf, the Obamas are reportedly in talks with directors the Russo Brothers to bring that story to the silver screen.this year for producing documentary
The adaptation would land on Netflix, according to Collider Thursday, citing “multiple sources.” Riz Ahmed is reportedly attached to star, with Top Boy director Yann Demange and Cherry writer Jessica Goldberg working behind the scenes.
Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.
Exit West centers on the refugee crisis through the lens of Nadia and Saeed, a young couple living in an unnamed city embroiled in civil war. But don’t think this is a straightforward affair — the two catch wind there are magical portals away from the violence. The novel follows their struggles to survive wherever they end up, living in immigrant communities.
In 2017, the Russo Brothers bought the rights to make the film adaptation, initially with The Imitation Game’s Morten Tyldum to direct. In 2018, the Obamas to produce docu-series, documentaries and features, with Exit West looking like it could be one of their first features. Their production company, Higher Ground, reportedly has a few other projects in the works, including a movie about American activist Frederick Douglass and a series based on The New York Times’ ongoing obituary column Overlooked.