By Wendy Williams

SOUTH African-American writer and director Ken Sibanda is set to pay a visit to Spain to scout for locations for an upcoming film.

Based on his popular sci-fi novel Return to Gibraltar, published last year, the film will tell the story of Horace Bates, a young African American studying at Harvard who travels back in time to 1491 to assist the Moors against the Christian re-conquest.

In his book author Sibanda takes the reader from Boston to Spain, to California and back to war-torn Africa.

But interestingly, this will be the first time the author has set foot in Spain.

“I haven’t been unfortunately, but I am really hoping to go,” Sibanda explained to the Olive Press.

“We are in the early stages of producing the film, and will probably begin location scouting next year so I will visit then. Obviously it has to be filmed in Spain and a big location will be the Alhambra.

He continued: “I would really like to see Will Smith play the part. I wrote the book with him in mind.

“Although at the time I didn’t concentrate on making it a film, I wanted to write a good novel.

“I wrote first and researched it after,” he added.

“I wanted the story to come from me, so I wrote the whole thing and then went back and looked at the facts.

“The book has been well received.

“I have even had feedback from Gibraltar and Spain, with people responding very positively.

“It is one of the first times an African writer has produced a sci-fi epic and the audience is growing and taking on a form of its own.

“If I had to sum it up in one sentence I would say it is an exciting science-fiction, with a black protagonist.

“Mainly it is an entertaining story. Bookshelves should have entertaining books on them.

“And it is a good book you can read on the beach, or if you visit the Alhambra.”

Return to Gibraltar is available from

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