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Ava DuVernay Will Direct Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o in the Buddy Movie of Your Dreams

Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images
Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images

The photo that launched a meme that inspired a social media dream is now becoming a reality because sometimes the internet has some okay ideas (sometimes). Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o are teaming up to co-star in a buddy movie directed by Ava DuVernay from a screenplay by Issa Rae — if that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it was…until it wasn’t.

According to Entertainment Weekly, a bidding war broke out at the Cannes film festival with studios vying to nab the distribution rights to a film based on a meme. Following a “dramatic negotiation session,” Netflix emerged victorious, securing the rights to the upcoming film from director Ava DuVernay, who is currently working on Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time.

It all began on Twitter about a month ago with a photo of Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o hanging out at a fashion show in 2014, which led to a reasonably brilliant movie idea:

It wasn’t long before users were asking DuVernay to direct and Insecure creator / star Issa Rae to write the made-up project. Even though all four women tweeted their commitment to making this movie dream come true, it still seemed like a fantasy — a fun thing that everyone says they’d love to do in the moment, but is ultimately forgotten a month from now.

Here we are, a month later, and it’s actually happening. Sources tell EW that Rae is working on the script, though it’s unclear if she’s sticking to the original plot concept, in which Rihanna “scams rich white men” and Nyong’o is a hacker-type who uses her skills to assist in the scams. The crew is reportedly looking to start filming in 2018 when DuVernay’s schedule is free. Netflix will exclusively distribute the film, which might be the first based on an internet meme — at least it’s a good one.

Ava DuVernay Shares a Glimpse of ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ as Production Wraps

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