After winning an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for her sterling performance in the historical drama 12 Years a Slave in 2014, Lupita Nyong'o has taken a different path than might be expected.
Barely 20 years of age, Nyong'o only had a scant few screen credits when she landed her startling role in Steve McQueen's harrowing drama about slavery. Since then, she appeared in a supporting turn as a flight attendant in the Liam Neeson action-thriller Non-Stop and then showed up as the motion-captured character Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Next she's set to costar in Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book, voicing the mother wolf Raksha; that's set for release on April 15. But when will the very promising actress get a role that's worthy of her talents?
That time may be now. Nyong'o is in negotiations to star in Intelligent Life, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The project is described as a sci-fi thriller. Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly (Jurassic World) wrote the screenplay, which follows a United Nations worker who "falls in love with a mysterious woman who turns out to be an alien." The tone is said to be similar to Trevorrow and Connolly's first indie, Safety Not Guaranteed. Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment is aiming to begin production this summer.
Even better, Ava DuVernay is under consideration to direct. She shot to widespread attention with her excellent work on the civil rights drama Selma (above) in 2014 and was sought out to direct Marvel's Black Panther, an opportunity she declined. Intelligent Life might be more the the type of movie she wants to direct.
DuVernay is also touted to direct a new adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, per Deadline, based on Madeleine L’Engle's classic fantasy novel about a 13-year-old girl who searches for her missing scientist father. It's a fabulous story with broad appeal, so it's no surprise that Disney has been developing the project. Jennifer Lee (Frozen) wrote the latest draft of the script.
Reportedly, the planned production schedules would allow DuVernay to direct both movies. However things work out, we're eager to see more films that showcase fully the talents of Nyong'o and DuVernay.