Ta-Nehisi Coates’ acclaimed novel The Water Dancer has tapped Nia DaCosta to direct its upcoming MGM film adaptation.

Published in 2019, The Water Dancer was Coates’ first novel and debuted at number one on The New York Times fiction best-seller list, selling over one million copies to date.

Coates himself is adapting the novel into a screenplay, bringing his character Hiram Walker to life. The Water Dancer is about Walker, who was born into slavery in Virginia, the multiracial son of a Black mother and white slave owner. After being sold away from his mother by his father as a child, he loses all memories of his mom despite developing a photographic memory.

Hiram, now a young man in a new community, almost drowns but is saved by his newfound superhuman ability which allows him to transport himself, and others, across large distances.

DaCosta is an exciting addition to the project, as she has previously directed Candyman and most recently The Marvels. Coates has written for publications such as The Atlantic and The Washington Post and even penned a Black Panther series and a Captain America series for Marvel comics.

The Water Dancer will be produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films with Maceo-Lun and Plan B.