Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground Productions, is adapting British-Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s critically cherished 2017 novel Exit West into a Netflix movie, which will star Riz Ahmed.
The Obamas had signed a multiyear deal with Netflix in 2018 to produce television series, movies and documentaries. The adaptation of Mohin Hamid’s novel is one of many projects that Netflix revealed the Obamas are developing for the online streaming portal.
Exit West is a love story set against an epic global migration enabled by a supernatural phenomenon. It is the story of two people as they seek a better life together, all the while yearning for a home to which they may never return.
The New York Times labelled the novel one of the 10 Best Books of 2017, it was selected for the Booker Prize longlist, and former U.S. President Barack Obama named it one of the best books he read in 2017.
— Government of Pakistan (@GovtofPakistan) April 8, 2018
“The film stars Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) who will also executive produce via his Left Handed Films banner, and will be directed by Yann Demange (White Boy Rick) and co-produced with Joe Russo, Anthony Russo and Mike Larocca for the Russos’ AGBO,” revealed the notice released by Netflix.
The different projects under Obamas’ deal with Netflix include both TV and film projects. Apart from the film adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s critically-acclaimed novel Exit West the Obamas are also working on a science fiction movie titled Satellite in collaboration with Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman’s production company.
Other projects include a biopic on Tenzing Norgay, who was the first person to reach the peak of Mount Everest alongside Sir Edmund Hillary, U.S. National Parks docuseries and a series adaptation of the Angeline Boulley book Firekeeper’s Daughter.
Netflix announced the projects will be released over the next few years but did not give exact release dates.
Previous Netflix projects produced by the Obamas include American Factory, which won an Oscar in 2020 for best documentary.