Rihanna has over 72 million Twitter followers, so when she publicly joked on the platform about the possibility of making a movie with Lupita Nyong'o, director Ava DuVernay and writer and actress Issa Rae, a whole lot of people were watching. Apparently, even the people that can make movies actually happen. Now, a story that started as a Twitter meme is actually becoming a Netflix movie.
The whole thing was prompted when Twitter user @1800SadGal retweeted a photo of Nyong'o and Rihanna sitting side by side at a Miu Miu fashion show in 2014 and mused, "Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and lupita is the computer smart best friend that helps plan the scans." It was Nyong'o who first caught wind of the tweet, and tweeted herself, "I'm down if you are @Rihanna."
"I'm in Pit'z," replied Rihanna.
And then Twitter went wild imagining the all-female, all-black talent that could work on the film; eventually landing on Issa Rae of HBO's Insecure to write the script and Selma director Ava DuVernay to helm the entire project.
Eventually, DuVernay and Rae agreed to officially offer their services.
And now its actually happening!
Entertainment Weekly reports that Netflix beat out several other aggressive bidders to land the project, and indeed, as her cat .GIF suggested, Rae is already hard at work writing up the script. Production is expected to start in 2018 after DuVernay wraps up post-production on Disney's A Wrinkle in Time. No word on how close the project will actually remain to the original Tweet, or whether @1800SadGal gets a credit and some royalties (though, she certainly deserves it).
While Rihanna has kept her career focused on music, she's slowly building up quite the acting resume. She recently appeared as Marion Crane on Psycho, is set to appear as the character "Bubble" in the upcoming Valerian, and will be one of the titular eight in all-female Ocean's 8.
It's also an important moment for Nyong'o too. Ever since breaking through with her Academy Award-winning performance in 12 Years a Slave Hollywood has quizzically been unsure what to do with her. She plays an Alien in the Star Wars sequels, and voiced a wolf in A Jungle Book. The only movie where she's appeared as an actual human that she filmed after that Oscar win was Queen of Katwe. Add this to upcoming Marvel's Black Panther (currently in post-production), and it seems she's finally getting the sort of roles she deserves.
Specifics of Rihanna and Nyong'o's careers aside, it's also a major moment that a high-profile movie directed, written and starring all black women is going into production. The Twitter-angle meme may be fun, but here's hoping it inspires and encourages similar major projects with total women of color creative control in the future.
Lupita Nyong’o Confesses Her Girl Crush: