It looks as though that Ava DuVernay/Lupita Nyong’o team-up won’t be happening after all, at least for Intelligent Life. Back in February, we got the swell news that the Selma director had come aboard the original sci-fi film Intelligent Life with Oscar-winner Nyong’o starring. It seemed like an especially promising pairing, and the prospect of seeing DuVernay take her talents to the sci-fi realm was mighty exciting. Now, however, THR reports that DuVernay has exited the project over scheduling conflicts, so she won’t be directing the sci-fi drama.
Intelligent Life is based on an original script by Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow and his collaborator Derek Connolly, telling the story of a United Nations employee that monitors outer space and makes contact with a beautiful woman, who may be an alien. Nyong’o is set to play the possible extra-terrestrial, but now DreamWorks is on the hunt for a new director.
DuVernay, meanwhile, remains set to make her blockbuster debut on Disney’s fantasy adaptation A Wrinkle in Time, and it’s possible that large-scale project is what made her drop out of Intelligent Life. Or perhaps she’s in talks on another big project that we don’t know about yet. Or maybe she’s just really darn busy, as DuVernay has been deeply involved in the upcoming OWN series Queen Sugar as of late.
Whatever the case, while it’s a bummer that DuVernay and Nyong’o won’t be teaming up for this particular project, maybe they can collaborate on another film down the road. She’s a massively talented filmmaker and I’m eager to see what she brings to the tentpole landscape with A Wrinkle in Time and beyond.