Intelligent Life: Starring Lupita Nyong, Directed by Ava DuVernay

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o will star in Intelligent Life, a sci-fi thriller from Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, with Ava DuVernay circling to direct.

Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow and his collaborator Derek Connolly wrote the script.  Frank Marshall is producing with Trevorrow as well as production banner Big Beach.

Nyong’o is in negotiations, while DuVernay is expected to receive an offer to direct.  The director, who helmed the Martin Luther King biopic Selma, is also fielding an offer from Disney to adapt A Wrinkle in Time, the children book classic by Madelein L’Engle. There is no conflict between the two projects so the director could end up doing both.

Intelligent Life is a reworking of an earlier Trevorrow-Connolly project titled The Ambassador about a U.N. worker in a department that was created to represent humankind in the event of alien contact. The man falls in love with a mysterious woman who turns out to be an alien. The tone is said to be similar to Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed and takes The Ambassador to a larger scale story. Nyong’o will play the woman at the center of the alien contact.

Nyong’o won an Oscar for her breakout performance in 12 years a Slave, a movie that was also her big-screen debut. She recently appeared as alien Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and is part of the all-star voice cast of Disney’s The Jungle Book, which opens April 15. She also stars in Disney’s chess drama Queen of Katwe with David Oyelowo.