Ava DuVernay Talks Everyone’s Favorite Hypothetical Rihanna-Lupita Nyong’o Movie


Ava DuVernay joins Questlove in a discussion about filmmaking–and the Twitter-generated movie starring Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o.

So remember that one time Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o volunteered to star in a movie based off a tweet?

Quick recap: a lovely member of Black Twitter posted this tweet in reply to a photo of Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o sitting together at a fashion show:

Not only did it go super viral, both Rihanna and Lupita volunteered (tweet-teered?) to be in the movie. Issa Rae of HBO’s Insecure signed on (via cat gif) to write the screenplay, and Ava Duvernay agreed (via Rihanna gif) to direct.

There was another detail I didn’t include in the original write-up: they (hypothetically) got the money!

Codeblack Life is the division of Lionsgate that produced the Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me. They sound…pretty darn committed.

Anyway, this all could have faded into the annals of beloved Twitter history, but instead it actually moved into the real world of Conversations on Creativity with Questlove, a panel hosted at Pratt Institute. Ava DuVernay joined the conversation on Monday night, and Questlove promptly asked her about this hypothetical Twitter-sourced movie.

“I was texting with these sisters [Lupita, Rihanna, Issa Rae] today, and there were some interesting conversations. So we’ll see what comes,” DuVernay said, stirring hope in the chests of millions.

DuVernay also noted that her “Twitter feed is in shambles:” “I can’t even retweet anymore. It’s so many people over the last four days inundating me with it. It just feels nice like, ‘they like me, they picked me.'”

Aww! Of course we’d pick you, Ava DuVernay! You’re the literal best.

Next: Lupita Nyong’o Celebrates Her Birthday with an Eddie Murphy Classic and Her Black Panther Co-Stars

Because she is indeed the literal best, DuVernay also drew attention to the fact that the furor over this hypothetical movie is a sign of people wanting a genre of movie that does not exist in sufficient quantities:

"But also, I think the main thing is the idea that the people want a certain kind of film. People want Black women in centered, powerful images that are complex and layered. And that have nuance beyond what we’re relegated to. And they want it from other Black women. They chose Black writers, with Issa. Issa text me like, ‘Yooo!’ She’s on the set of Insecure trying to be insecure. And all this great stuff is happening."

Yes to all these things. We can only hope that the continued conversations and tweetstorms will help make this movie come to fruition.