South African director, Liesl Tommy, has been signed to direct the big screen adaptation of Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born A Crime. This is Noah’s first project with Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central, and will be released through their venture, Day Zero Productions.
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o will star as Noah’s mother. Nyong’o and Tommy have worked together before, on the Broadway production, Eclipsed, for which Tommy received a Tony Award Nomination in 2016. Tommy made history with this nomination as the first woman of colour to ever be nominated for a Tony for Best Director of a Play.
Tommy was born in Cape Town, and grew up there, until she moved to Boston, Massachusetts when she was 15 years old.
She is excited about taking on the project. "When I came home to Cape Town for Christmas in 2016, I gave my father, my brother and uncles Trevor’s book as Christmas presents. I loved it so much, and thought they’d love it too because of the combination of humour and love of family with the Apartheid backdrop. Never in a million years did I imagine I’d one day be directing the film of that book. I’ve spent many years working all over the world, to finally get to come home to South Africa to shoot a project like this is a dream come true."
Tommy has directed numerous theatre productions including Les Miserables, Ruined, Party People, The Good Negro and Frozen at the Disney California Adventure Park’s Hyperion Theatre.
Her recent television directing work includes an episode of Queen Sugar and Dietland, a new series due to be released later this year.