Westbrook Studios’ Will Smith and Jon Mone, and Yoruba Saxon’s David Oyelowo are joining forces with Netflix to adapt Tọlá Okogwu’s middle-grade superhero duology Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun, prior to its publication in June this year. Ola Shokunbi (Satellite, Indigo, upcoming A Yellow Heaven) is set to write the film adaptation, which is in production at Westbrook Studios and Yoruba Saxon for Netflix.
The film will be executive produced by Tọlá Okogwu, Heather Washington (Westbrook Studios) and Jessica Oyelowo (Yoruba Saxon), with Will Smith, Jon Mone and David Oyelowo as producers.
Onyeka and The Academy of the Sun follows 12-year-old British-Nigerian girl Onyeka who discovers that her hair has psychokinetic powers when trying to save her friend from drowning in a pool. Her mother reveals that she is a Solari, part of a secretive group of mutants unique to Nigeria. Onyeka is taken from London to a futuristic Nigeria, where she can train at the Academy of the Sun—a school where the Solari are taught to harness their powers and use them to protect their country. It will be published by Simon & Schuster in the U.S. and U.K. in June 2022.
Tọlá Okogwu is a journalist, author and hair care educator. She has written for multiple publications, including Black Ballad, Metro UK, Huffington Post and Refinery29. Born in Lagos, Nigeria but raised in London, she writes children’s books, including the Daddy Do My Hair series and, under the pen name Lola Morayo, the Aziza’s Secret Fairy Door series.
Okogwu is represented by Michelle Kroes at CAA and Claire Wilson at RCW Literary Agency.