As fans eagerly await the big screen debut of Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo in Marvel‘s Eternals, the actor and comedian is busy lining up more television projects. Ninjiani‘s newest venture will be producing and starring in an FX limited series adaptation of one of 2020’s most acclaimed novels, Homeland Elegies.
The book—written by Pultizer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced)—is a sort of fictionalized autobiography that delves into the clashes of politics, faith, culture, and division that come from being an American son of a Pakistani immigrant (a link both Akhtar and Nanjiani share). It’s a family drama of centered around the relationship between Akhtar and his father, and the struggle to both maintain your own identity and feel like you belong in this country.
Wildly lauded by literary critics, Homeland Elegies made top 10 books of the year lists for many powerhouse publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, Publishers Weekly, and Entertainment Weekly. It also made the Best Books collections of NPR, Slate, O Magazine, The Economist, and many, many others. The novel even made the cut as one of Barack Obama‘s favorite books of 2010.
Oren Moverman will direct the Homeland Elegies eight-episode limited series for FX. Moverman is best known for directing and co-writing the 2009 film The Messenger, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay (a link both he and Nanjiani share, thanks to Kumail‘s writing nod for The Big Sick). Akhtar will handle the adaptation of the book for the screen alongside Moverman.
Homeland Elegies will be the first major television lead role for Nanjiani (if you don’t count co-hosting Comedy Central‘s delightful stand-up showcase The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail). His prior small screen highlights include co-starring as one of the Pied Piper boys on Silicon Valley, voicing Jesus on the animated series Bless the Harts, popping up episodes of The X-Files and Jordan Peele‘s Twilight Zone, and hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live.
Before Homeland Elegies arrives, Nanjiani is sure to garner more TV fans as he is a cast member in the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi.