Reports indicate that Netflix has won the rights to make a buddy film that will pair Lupita Nyong’o, an Oscar award winning actress and Rihanna, a Grammy winner. The idea for the film which is expected to be directed by Ava Duvernay and written by Issa Rae, initially started on Twitter as a joke. Sources say the bidding for the project was aggressive but Netflix eventually managed to elbow out other interested parties.
The concept for the film started when a photo which had been taken three years ago showing Lupita and Rihanna at the Miu fashion event went viral. A twitter user named @kateria then made a comment to the effect that Rihanna looked like a gold digger on the prowl with Lupita as her sidekick.
“Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and lupita is the computer smart best friend that helps plan the scams,” tweeted @kateria.
Twitter users then went on to lobby for DuVernay to direct the movie. DuVernay who is known for Selma is currently in post-production for a Disney film named A Wrinkle in Time. There were also calls for Issa Rae, who is currently working on Insecure, a HBO project, to write. In the end all the four women agreed to commit to the project.
Already it is being reported that Rae has begun writing the script. Though it is now clear how many of the ideas that Twitter users suggested or even to what extent they will be incorporated into the final screenplay, Rae’s representatives have said that those who came up with the concept will be credited and possibly included in the creative process. Production is slated to begin in 2018 by which time DuVernay is expected to have finished her current film.
The news come just when Netflix was a source of controversy during the Cannes film festival. The controversy was generated by the fact that two Netflix premieres had been booked by the festival despite the fact that the streaming service did not intend to show the films in the French theaters.