Oprah Winfrey

The Water Dancer: Oprah Winfrey is bringing this best-selling novel to the big screen

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Oprah Winfrey is teaming up with Brad Pitt to adapt The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates for the big screen.

We’re always on board with anything that gets the Oprah Winfrey seal of approval. That’s why we can’t wait for her latest project to come to fruition: bringing a best-selling novel to the big screen. 

Winfrey’s production company, Harpo Films, is teaming up with Brad Pitt’s Plan B to adapt The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Here’s everything we know about the movie so far…

As confirmed in The Hollywood Reporter, Coates has written the adaptation of his book, and Winfrey and Pitt will work with Apollo Theater producer Kamilah Forbes to bring it to life for MGM.

The Water Dancer, which was Oprah’s New Book Club Pick in 2019, follows the story of Hiram Walker. 

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates is being adapted for the screen by Oprah Winfrey.

The blurb reads: “Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her – but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

“So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.”

“Ta-Nehisi’s debut fiction novel has at its heart, a beautiful character in Hiram Walker, whose personal odyssey weaves the supernatural and spiritual, with the terrible reality of the forced separations endured by enslaved people and their families for centuries,” said MGM’s film group chairman Michael De Luca and MGM’s film group president Pamela Abdy in a statement. 

“Hiram’s story is one of devotion to those he loves, and the journey he takes to bring them together. All of us at MGM are incredibly honoured to join Ta-Nehisi, Kamilah, Plan B and Harpo Films in bringing this film to the screen.”

“I’m honoured to be working with Harpo, Plan B and my old friend Kamilah Forbes,” Coates said. “We all believe that MGM is the best home for this adaptation and look forward to bringing it to life.”

Although it will be a while before the movie starts production, now is the perfect time to add The Water Dancer to your reading list.

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Images: Getty, Blackwells

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…