Ava DuVernay is circling as director

By Oliver Gettell
Updated February 08, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST
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Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Lupita Nyong’o is looking to make first contact. The Oscar-winning actress is in negotiations to star in Intelligent Life, a sci-fi thriller that Selma filmmaker Ava DuVernay is being eyed to direct, EW has confirmed.

Written by Jurassic World‘s Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, the film centers on a United Nations employee in a department created to represent humanity in the event of extraterrestrial contact. An earlier version of the project was titled The Ambassador.

Nyong’o is still in talks, and DuVernay has not yet received an offer to helm the Amblin Entertainment project, but should the potential collaboration pan out, it will bring together two high-profile women of color, on both sides of the camera, at a time when diversity has emerged as a hot-button issue in Hollywood. Production is targeting a summer start.

Along with the biopic The Queen of Katwe, Intelligent Life would find Nyong’o back on the big screen in the flesh, after portraying CGI characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Disney’s upcoming Jungle Book movie.

As for DuVernay, her upcoming projects include a Hurricane Katrina-themed film with Selma star David Oyelowo (who is also in Katwe) and the TV drama Queen Sugar with Oprah Winfrey.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news about Intelligent Life.

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