Daniel Kaluuya to produce and star in Netflix’s ‘The Upper World’

daniel kaluuya the upper world netflix
Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya has his eyes set on a new project, with both a starring role and a producer credit on the horizon.

Daniel Kaluuya has been doing a lot of great things in recent years. He’s been involved in some of the last decade’s most critically-acclaimed films and TV series such as Get Out, Widows, the 2018 adaptation of Watership Down and Black Mirror. More recently he’s been turning his hand to producing, forming a new production company, 59%, which has already signed on to produce a new film in partnership with Mattel based on the TV show Barney & Friends (yes, really!). Now Kaluuya has bagged his second production deal, this time in partnership with Netflix. Kaluuya will produce and star in an adaptation of British-Nigerian author Femi Fadugba’s novel The Upper World.

Esso is caught in a deadly feud and on the verge of expulsion when he realizes he has an unexpected gift: access to a world where he can see glimpses of the past and the future. A generation away, Rhia is walking to football practice in 2035, unaware that the mysterious stranger she’s about to meet desperately needs her help to avert a bullet fired 15 years ago.


If you’re not familiar with the premise behind The Upper World, it’s a science-fiction story involving a character called Esso from a council estate in South London who, whilst caught in a deadly feud, discovers he has the ability to time travel. Whilst you may think it might be a typical fantastical time-travel story, that is definitely not the case. Fadugba has a background in quantum physics (he has a masters degree from Oxford University) and uses actual concepts from physics to shape how Esso is able to travel backwards and forwards in time. How this will translate to the screen is a whole different question entirely, but I’m pretty sure Kaluuya and his team will be able to do a fantastic job of that.

Kaluuya will be producing the film for Netflix alongside Eric Newman (Screen Arcade) and Bryan Unkeless, with Fadugba himself signed on as an executive producer. Kaluuya’s next major role will be playing Fred Hampton in Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah, which is due to be released in 2021.

Words by Robert Percy

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