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Ava DuVernay, Lupita Nyong’o in Talks for Sci-Fi Thriller “Intelligent Life”

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Ava DuVernay and Lupita Nyong’o are both in talks for the upcoming sci-fi thriller film “Intelligent Life.” DuVernay, who last directed “Selma,” is in negotiations to direct and Nyong’o is in negotiations to star.

“Intelligent Life” will follow a script by Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic World”) and Derek Connolly (also “Jurassic World”). The film is the reworking of a different project by Trevorrow and Connolly called “The Ambassador.” That film was supposed to follow a U.N. worker who works in a special department created to represent humanity in the event of an alien attack. The worker falls in love with a woman who turns out to be an alien. “Intelligent Life” will follow the same storyline but on a larger scale.

Nyong’o would be playing the role of the woman at the center of the alien contact. This would not be her first time acting in a sci-fi role, as the “12 Years a Slave” actress starred in this winter’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” as new alien character, Maz Kanata. She has several big projects in the works, including Disney’s “The Jungle Book” and “Queen of Katwe” with David Oyelowo. She won Best Supporting Actress for her role in “12 Years a Slave.”

The Hollywood Reporter reports that DuVernay is also being offered the director’s spot for the screen adaptation of the children’s book, “A Wrinkle in Time.” The outlet suggests DuVernay could do both, as the two projects are not expected to overlap.

DuVerany, although busy developing “Queen Sugar” for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network, has not directed a feature film since 2014’s “Selma.” She was rumored to be tied to Marvel’s “Black Panther” at one point, but she ultimately passed on the project.

THR reports that the feel of the story would be similar to Trevorrow’s “Safety Not Guaranteed.” The project is aiming for a summer start date.

What do you think?

Written by Lauren Huff

Lauren Huff is a film and awards geek. When she's not writing about film and the industry, she's drinking coffee, reading mystery novels or hanging out with her husband and stinking-cute puppy. She's reported from the red carpets of Austin Film Festival, SXSW and various film premieres. Her work has appeared in several outlets, including Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, Us Weekly and more.

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