Lupita Nyong'o in Talks to Star in Sci-Fi Thriller With Ava DuVernay Eyed to Direct (Exclusive)

'Jurassic World' director Colin Trevorrow and his collaborator Derek Connolly wrote the script.
Lupita Nyong'o  Alexi Lubomirski

Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o is in negotiations to star in Intelligent Life, a sci-fi thriller from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment that has Ava DuVernay circling to direct.

The project already has some bold names on the creative side. Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow and his collaborator Derek Connolly wrote the script. Frank Marshall is producing with Trevorrow as well as production banner Big Beach.

Nyong’o is in negotiations, while DuVernay is expected to receive an offer to direct in the next 24 hours. The filmmaker, who helmed the Martin Luther King biopic Selma, is also fielding an offer from Disney to adapt A Wrinkle in Time, the children's book classic by Madelein L'Engle. There is no conflict between the two projects, so DuVernay could end up doing both.

Intelligent Life is a reworking of an earlier Trevorrow-Connolly project titled The Ambassador about a U.N. worker in a department that was created to represent humankind in the event of alien contact. The man falls in love with a mysterious woman who turns out to be an alien. The tone is said to be similar to Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed and takes The Ambassador to a larger scale story.

Nyong’o will play the woman at the center of the alien contact.

A summer start is being targeted.

Nyong’o won an Oscar for her breakout performance in 12 Years a Slave, a movie that also was her big-screen debut. She recently appeared as alien Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and is part of the all-star voice cast of Disney’s The Jungle Book, which opens April 15. The actress also stars in Disney’s chess drama Queen of Katwe with David Oyelowo.

Nyong’o is repped by CAA, D2 Management and Del Shaw. DuVernay is repped by CAA and Del Shaw.

 

 

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