Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o Will Star in a New Film Based on a Meme


Movies based on books are so 2012 The Hunger Games. In 2017, the trend is for movies to be based on memes. Such is the case with a new movie starring Lupita Nyong’o and Rihanna, in which Internet pop culture is entirely responsible its existence. It all began with a picture of the pair seated together at a Miu Miu show in 2014—Rihanna wore a colorful, oversized shearling and sunglasses and Lupita was clad in a plum sweater, paired with a bejeweled collared white shirt.

Fans went wild for the photo on Twitter and Tumblr, writing elaborate fan fiction in which Riri played a cunning thief and Lupita was the genius mastermind behind all of her heists. The photo and accompanying fantasy tale quickly went viral. Twitter users began demanding it be made into a film, even asking Ava Duvernay to direct it and Issa Rae to write the script. All four women responded to the barrage of tweets, committing to make the fantasy project a reality.

While Rihanna was in Cannes to celebrate her new collaboration with Chopard, movie studios were aggressively courting her for the rights to the unwritten film. The company who won out was Netflix, inking a deal with the star before the script has even been finished. Riri’s choice is likely an outrage to Cannes organizers, some of whom have publically said movies released on streaming platforms shouldn’t be eligible for prizes.

Netflix has yet to officially comment on the news, but a representative for Rae confirmed to Vanity Fair that “the original Twitter users who imagined the concept for this film will be credited and included in some form.” It’s been reported that production for the untitled movie will begin in 2018.


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