Ava DuVernay is in seriously high demand. The “Selma” director is reportedly currently being courted to direct not one but two high-profile features.
Deadline reports that DuVernay is expected to be approached by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment to helm sci-fi thriller “Intelligent Life.” Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o is already in talks to star in the film. The script by “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly is based on an earlier project of theirs about a UN alien-liaison worker who falls for an enigmatic woman who turns out to be not of this world. (Fun fact: DuVernay and Trevorrow are pals who met at Sundance 2012. Both premiered small films in Park City that went on to screen at international festivals — DuVernay’s “Middle of Nowhere” and Trevorrow’s “Safety Not Guaranteed.”)
Meanwhile, DuVernay has apparently already been offered “A Wrinkle in Time” by Disney. The film — which adapts Madeleine L’Engle’s classic 1963 fantasy novel of the same name — has a screenplay by “Frozen” writer and co-director Jennifer Lee. The story centers on a young girl and her adventures in space and time in search of her scientist father who has mysteriously disappeared.
This is not the first time that we’ve seen DuVernay’s named linked to such major features since the success of the monumental calling-card that was “Selma.” The director turned down Marvel’s offer to direct the upcoming Black Panther movie because she was concerned that the studio’s “certain way of doing things,” as she put it, might ultimately restrict her creative control on the picture. As she explained in discussion with Women and Hollywood founder and editor Melissa Silverstein, “If there’s too much compromise, it really wasn’t going to be an Ava DuVernay film.” Both offers the director purportedly has on the table definitely sound more like projects that DuVernay can truly make her own.