Chiwetel Ejiofor Thrilled to Work With Netflix on 'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind'

The film adaptation of William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer's book will see the '12 Years a Slave' star making his directorial debut with newcomer Maxwell Simba in lead role.

AceShowbiz - "12 Years a Slave" star Chiwetel Ejiofor's directorial debut has been picked up by Netflix bosses.

"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind", which Ejiofor also adapted from William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer's book, stars Maxwell Simba as a boy who dreams of building a windmill to save his Malawi village from famine.

The movie, which also features Chiwetel, was shot in Malawi, and now it has picked up a global deal with bosses at the streaming service.

The film will launch in 2019 on Netflix and in select cinemas in the U.S. and U.K.

Thrilled Ejiofor tells Deadline, "William's story represents, what has to be, the future in countries like Malawi: developing countries, overflowing with beauty and harboring enormous potential. A global story, such as this, requires a global platform and I'm thrilled to be working with Netflix on bringing William's extraordinary tale of determination and inventiveness to audiences worldwide."

Meanwhile, Chiwetel recently wrapped work on the Maleficent sequel after joining Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning for the Disney blockbuster.

The first movie opened to critical acclaim in May, 2014 and went on to haul in more than $750 million (GBP566 million) at the global box office.

Ejiofor will also appear in Disney's "The Lion King (2019)" remake - he has been cast to voice villain Scar, opposite Donald Glover, Beyonce knowles, James Earl Jones, Seth Rogen, and Alfre Woodard, among others.

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