the rihanna and lupita nyong'o twitter movie is real, and ava duvernay is directing

The seriously stylish hacker film was inspired by a viral photo snapped at a Miu Miu fashion show.

by Hannah Ongley
22 May 2017, 10:45pm

In 2014, Rihanna and Lupita Nyong'o sat next to each other at Paris Fashion Week, and a meme was born. Three years later, that meme is being made into a movie directed by Ava DuVernay. God bless the internet.

The original photo was taken at Miu Miu's fall/winter 15 show, and went viral shortly after being posted on Tumblr with a dream film synopsis: "They look like they're in a heist movie with Rihanna as the tough-as-nails leader/master thief and Lupita as the genius computer hacker," wrote user elizabitchtaylor, inspiring nearly 500K notes and some rather elegant fan art. Last month user @1800SADGAL posted a similar sentiment on Twitter, at which point the crowd-sourced pitch started to gain serious traction, eventually scoring coveted endorsements from the stylish scammers themselves. "I'm down if you are," Nyong'o wrote, to which Rihanna replied, "I'm in Pit'z." Twitter then nominated Ava DuVernay and Issa Rae — who both tweeted their approval — to direct and write the dream project.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the untitled buddy movie has been the subject of a "dramatic" bidding war at Cannes Film Festival, with Netflix eventually landing the project. Sources have told EW that Rae is already working on the script and production is set to start early next year, after DuVernay wraps her current film — a claim the director seemed to confirm on Twitter this afternoon. Rihanna, in Cannes to celebrate the launch of her collaboration with Chopard, is already serving looks to inspire the film's ending. Judging by all that bling, her and Nyong'o make a pretty good tag-team. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Paolo Roversi [i-D The Music Issue]

Miu Miu
Lupita Nyong’o
Ava DuVernay