First Glimpse of Lupita in ‘The Queen of Katwe’

We didn’t have to wait long.

Fresh off Star Wars fame, Disney already unveiled the first snapshot of Lupita from “The Queen of Katwe,” the biographical drama about a Ugandan chess prodigy. The anticipated film, based on Tim Crothers’ book by the same name, is expected to hit the big screen this fall.

Lupita stars as the mother of Phiona Mutsei (played by Madina Nalwanga), a young girl from the Katwe slums of Kampala who follows her dream of becoming an international chess champion. Directed by Mira Nair, the film was almost exclusively shot on location in Uganda, serving as a pseudo-homecoming for Lupita.

“It was so great to go back home,” Lupita said at the D23 Expo in August. “I’m from East Africa. I’m from Kenya, which is just next door to Uganda.”

She added, “This is a story about the commitment to a dream even in the most discouraging of situations. The slum of Katwe is a very difficult place to live, but you see these people living there with dignity and making it day by day. And so to go there and to have that environment to work from really did sober us and enliven us.”

Originally from Sweden, Chris is a journalist with an extensive interest for African culture and the arts.