Directed by Biyi Bandele (‘Blood Sisters’) and filmed in 2021, the adaptation will star Odunlade Adekola as the eponymous character. The star actor will star alongside Shaffy Bello, Olawale ‘Brymo’ Olofooro, Deyemi Okanlawon, Omowunmi Dada, Jide Kosoko, Mark Elderkin, Jenny Stead, Langley Kirkwood, Kevin Ushi, Drikus Volschenk, Fares Boulos ‘Oyibo Rebel’ with special guest appearances by Ajoke Silva and Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett.
The adapted screenplay by Bandele will follow the Nobel Laureate’s 1975 play set in an ancient Yoruba City, following English colonial officers who intervene to prevent the ritual suicide of the Elesin Oba following his king’s death.
Announcing its TIFF premiere, EbonyLife boss Mo Abudu shared on Instagram:
“EbonyLife Films and our co production partners Netflix are pleased to announce that Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman, will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2022. Elesin Oba will feature in the prestigious Special Presentation category, the first Yoruba language film to do so.”
“The original Death and the King’s Horseman was a stage play, written by Prof. Wole Soyinka, who won Africa’s first Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. It is the first time that one of Soyinka’s works has been made into a feature film. The screen adaptation was written and directed by Biyi Bandele,” Abudu added.