Sadly, we're going to have to wait on that first collaboration between Ava DuVernay and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o. A few months ago we received the news they would be working together on the sci-fi film Intelligent Life, based on a script by Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow and his writing partner Derek Connolly. But now THR is reporting she has dropped out and a new director will need to be found.
DuVernay's busy schedule is the cause for her departure, and it's easy to see why. She's currently developing the OWN series, Queen Sugar, and recently agreed to direct Disney's adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time which promises to be a massive undertaking. Intelligent Life would have been on a smaller scale, similar to Trevorrow and Connelly's debut feature, Safety Not Guaranteed. The story centers on a U.N. employee charged with being humankind's representative in case of an alien encounter. He eventually makes contact with a beautiful woman who could be an extraterrestrial.
Nyong'o is still on board so at least that hasn't changed. But part of the film's appeal was the potential in DuVernay's direction, and losing her is a blow.