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Netflix’s Next Big Movie Is Inspired By This Meme of Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o

Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o at the Miu Miu Fall 2014 ready-to-wear show during Paris Fashion Week in 2014. Getty

It’s a meme come true. What began as a viral social media joke – Lupita Nyong’o and Rihanna co-starring in a buddy film directed by Ava DuVernay – is now going to happen. The Selma director has pitched the viral tweet idea to Netflix as a film, with a screenplay by Insecure’s Issa Rae.

The film project was conceived when a photo of Rihanna and Nyong’o sitting front row together at a Miu Miu show in 2014 went viral on Tumblr, inspiring calls to turn it into a heist movie, in which the singer and actor scam the rich out of their money.

The image resurfaced on Twitter recently, where users took it a step further, pulling DuVernay and Rae into the discussion. The Grammy-winning artist and Oscar-winning actor both expressed their interest on Twitter, followed by the director and Insecure writer.

According to some sources, the internet-inspired project was pitched to studios at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with streaming company Netflix beating out multiple competitors for the bid.

Netflix are reportedly aiming for a 2018 release, after DuVernay has finished her adaptation of fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time. Whether the untitled movie will follow the plot of the initial online meme is yet to be known.

The tweet-turned-movie won’t be the bad gal’s first acting stint. Her on-screen credits include Battleship (2012) and the final season of Bates Motel, and she will next star alongside Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock in Ocean’s Eight. Nyong’o, who won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role in 12 Years a Slave (2013), has also starred in The Jungle Book (2016) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). She will next appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Marvel’s Black Panther.

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