Way back in March, months before Jurassic World broke box office records, director Colin Trevorrow revealed that he will direct the sci-fi thriller entitled Intelligent Life next. A lot has happened between then and now, with the filmmaker taking the reins on LucasFilm's Star Wars: Episode IX. Today, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Lupita Nyong'o is in negotiations to star, with Ava DuVernay being eyed to direct.
Colin Trevorrow co-wrote the script with his longtime partner Derek Connolly (Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World), which the filmmaker initially wanted to film after Safety Not Guaranteed. The project was initially entitled The Ambassador, but the story has since been significantly reworked. The original plot followed a United Nations employee who worked in a department that was meant to represent all of humanity, in the event that aliens would make contact with Earth. The man eventually falls in love with a mysterious woman, who turns out to be an alien herself.
Intelligent Life is said to be the kernel of The Ambassador, only "re-conceived and re-thought," with "a big idea surrounded by rich characters" in a tone similar to Safety Not Guaranteed. No specific story details have been revealed yet, but Lupita Nyong'o will play "the woman at the center of the alien contact." Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly are both set to produce alongside Frank Marshall.
Ava DuVernay is expected to receive an official offer to direct within the next 24 hours, and she is also considering an offer to direct the Disney remake A Wrinkle in Time. The report claims there are no scheduling conflicts between the two projects, so it's possible she could end up taking the helm on both, but that isn't set in stone yet. Filming on Intelligent Life is being eyed to begin this summer.
Lupita Nyong'o won an Oscar for her performance in 12 Years a Slave, and she most recently starred in the Disney/LucasFilm blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the motion capture character Maz Kanata. She provides the voice of Raksha in Disney's upcoming adaptation of The Jungle Book, and also stars in Queen of Katwe alongside David Oyelowo.