Akwaeke Emezi, Michael B. Jordan (Riverhead; Mega)

EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios has won an auction for the screen rights to You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty, a novel by Akwaeke Emezi that the Simon & Schuster imprint Atria will publish in 2022. Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society will develop it. Jordan, whose new film Without Remorse opens Friday on Amazon Prime, berthed his production company at Amazon and this is the first major film property acquisition.

The book sold in a bidding battle, in the vicinity of high six against low seven figures, one of the biggest book deals of the year so far and one that was highly competitive. There were eight offers from studios, some with filmmakers attached. Jordan and Outlier Society’s Elizabeth Raposo chased it hard. Emezi will be executive producer.

The protagonist is a beautiful Nigerian 29-year old aspiring artist in Brooklyn who loses her husband in a tragic accident. While she grieves through her art, her life begins to turn around when she meets a handsome new man at a party. And is given an introduction to a major curator who wants to launch her career in the art world. But even as romance takes her to a beautiful estate in the Caribbean, she struggles with the challenge of balancing grief with the desire to move forward with her life.

Born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria, Emezi is the bestselling author of three previous novels and is a 2018 National Book Foundation ‘5 Under 35’ honoree. Emezi’s most recent novel, The Death of Vivek Oji, was published last August by Riverhead and quickly became a bestseller. Emezi’s debut novel was Freshwater, in development for series at FX, followed by the YA title Pet. Emezi will publish their memoir Dear Senthuran through Riverhead Books on June 8. It is a highly anticipated book, tracing Emezi’s own unfolding of a self and the journey of a creative spirit stepping into power in the human world.

The author was repped in the deal by Verve’s Head of Books-To-Screen, Chris Lupo, and the author is repped for publishing by The Wylie Agency.

Using Format