After dramatic negotiation session at the Cannes Film Festival, Netflix has nabbed a film project pairing Grammy winner Rihanna with Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, in a concept that began as a Twitter sensation. Ava DuVernay (Selma) will direct, and Issa Rae (Insecure) is in talks to write the screenplay.
According to sources, Netflix landed the project in a very aggressive bid, beating out multiple other suitors. Netflix had no comment.
The project began as a Twitter meme when the photo above — a shot that was taken in 2014 of the two women in the front row of a Miu Miu fashion show — went viral, prompting calls to turn it into a movie.
Twitter users went so far as to ask for DuVernay (who is in post-production on A Wrinkle in Time for Disney) to direct, with Rae (whose second season of HBO’s Insecure will debut on July 23) to write. All four women pledged their support to the project on the social media platform.
Since then, the buzz has only intensified, with some creating concept art of the “scammer story” they envisioned with Rihanna playing a woman who cons white men, while her brilliant co-conspirator (played by Nyong’o) orchestrates the heists. It’s unclear how faithful Rae will remain to the crowd-sourced concept.
But if she needs a suggestion for the ending, Rihanna’s appearance on the Cannes red carpet sparked inspiration from her fans.
Sources say Rae is already working on the script and the studio is eyeing a production start of 2018 after DuVernay completes her current film.
THIS is incredible. We hope the people who came up with the initial tweet idea get credited on the film in some way.
an update in my studio art folio - pretty proud of this // i haven’t posted in a week (swamped with year 12) but the feedback on my bullet journal is surreal!! over 1000 notes is incredible! @studyrose you are my biggest bujo inspo!