Kumail Nanjiani has lined up his next project, with Deadline reporting that the stand-up comic, producer, and distractingly beefed-up Marvel movie star has signed on to both executive produce, and star, in a TV adaptation of Ayad Akhtar’s Homeland Elegies. The series is in development at FX.
Akhtar’s novel was published in September of 2020, quickly making its way on to a variety of best of the year lists (including that of former President Barack Obama). Designed, in Akhtar’s own descriptions, as an attempt to channel the steady stream of information that we all regularly get jammed into our brains by social media, the book falls somewhere in the neighborhood of “autofiction”—which, boy, we’re hearing that a lot lately—as the Pulitzer Prize-winner writes in first-person about a Pulitzer Prize-winning author named Ayad Akhtar, who wrestles with the anxieties of life in America over the last few years, including the rise of Donald Trump, the lingering legacy of 9/11, as well as more personal meditations on “Akhtar’s” relationship with his father. (The book’s different sections are also modeled off of different Tolstoy novellas, in case the structure didn’t already sound complicated enough.)
Nanjiani is, of course, currently set to star in Marvel’s Eternals, which is cruising toward a November 5, 2021 release date. He’s also on the hook to appear in the Disney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi series, although details on that role are still being kept extremely quiet. (A few years ago, we would have pitched him as an obvious pick for a great droid voice, but can we really keep those guns behind a microphone in 2021?) Nanjiani has also been extremely proactive as a producer over the last few years; he previously worked behind the scenes on the autobiographical (auto-fictional?) The Big Sick, Amazon’s Little America, and his 2020 Netflix vehicle The Lovebirds.