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Lupita Nyong’o to Star in Queen of Katwe

Lupita Nyong’o will play the mother of chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi in a new Mira Nair movie

While the world was busy gawking at flawless human and walking pearl vessel Lupita Nyong’o Sunday night on the Oscars’ red carpet, the actress dropped a juicy piece of news: She’s working on a new project called “Queen of Katwe” with “Vanity Fair” and “Amelia” director Mira Nair. Which means what, exactly?

Well, “Queen of Katwe” is about an African chess prodigy, Phiona Mutesi, who was profiled in ESPN the Magazine in 2011. Mutesi’s story also inspired a book, also entitled “Queen of Katwe,” which chronicles Mutesi’s rise from dire poverty to the World Chess Olympiad. Nair has a reputation for making movies with complex, layered female leads, which explains the interest in Mutesi, who became a chess champion growing up and practicing in a small, poor Ugandan village.

Nyong’o, who is playing Mutesi’s mother, will likely work with David Oyelowo, the same actor with whom she’s co-starring in “Americanah.”

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