Netflix acquires a Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o buddy comedy inspired by viral meme

on May 23, 2017, 12:00pm

After winning a hotly contested bidding war at Cannes, Netflix has purchased the rights to a Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o vehicle to be directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma). This dream trifecta was literally brought together via a viral meme inspired by the above photo from a 2014 fashion show. Twitter was all about the hypothetical pairing, calling for DuVernay to direct and writer Issa Rae (Insecure) to pen the imaginary project’s screenplay — and amazingly, it appears that the Internet is going to get its wish.

Heeding the calls from the Twitterverse, all four women declared they were down with such an undertaking on the social media platform, and one of the most badass cinematic girl gangs of all time began to take shape.

Details of this dream grouping are scant at this point, but the Internet suggested a “scammer story” in which Rhianna plays a thief who cons rich white men, with Nyong’o as her brilliant accomplice who plans the heists. If that concept has you ready to start popping popcorn, you’re not alone, as reps for Rae told Vanity Fair “the original Twitter users who imagined the concept for this film will be credited and included in some form.”

So basically, Twitter managed to get a project involving four of the most talented women of color in their various disciplines — something Hollywood seems to have a very hard time figuring out on its own — of the ground. Great job , Internet! It will be intriguing to see where this unique project is headed once DuVernay and Rae iron out the script details, and one truly hopes they stay true to the “conning rich white me” source material … which in this case is tweets from random people. Amazing.

Netflix has already had a very busy and controversial Cannes, as the streaming juggernaut has started a heated debate about the place of films that won’t see a theatrical release in France. In its first year at Cannes, Netflix premiered both Bong Joon-Ho’s Tilda Swinton vehicle Okja, and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories, prompting Cannes officials to declare that starting next year, films without a French theatrical release will not be eligible for the coveted Palme d’Or. The move seems at odds with where technology and streaming services are headed, as Netflix has recently jumped into the film production in a big way, ponying up $90 for the Will Smith-starring Bright and $60 million for Brad Pitt’s upcoming war satire War Machine.