After directing the Oscar-nominated MLK biopic, Selma, Ava DuVernay has been in demand from various studios to direct a major motion picture. While the director has turned down some pretty “super” projects in the past, recent news has revealed that she may be closer to finding her new directorial project, with an adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time or possibly the Colin Trevorrow-scripted Intelligent Life.
Last year, Marvel courted DuVernay to direct the Chadwick Boseman-starring Black Panther feature film. And while this was sure to be a big step for DuVernay, she ultimately turned the gig down, as the film wouldn’t “be an Ava DuVernay film.”
While the director turned down Marvel Studios, Deadline has announced DuVernay is in the running for two science fiction films, one of which is being produced by Marvel’s parent company, Disney. Reportedly, the Mouse House has extended an offer to DuVernay to direct A Wrinkle in Time, based on Madeleine L’Engle’s classic fantasy book of the same name, with the director working from a script written by Frozen director, Jennifer Lee.
Over at Amblin, the director is also in talks to direct Intelligent Life, a thriller whose script is written by Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow and his collaborator on the film, Derek Connolly. The story focuses on the life of a UN worker who works in a department “designed to represent mankind if there was ever contact with aliens.” While earlier reports attached Trevorrow to direct Intelligent Life, with Steven Spielberg producing, both Amblin and Trevorrow have since lobbied for DuVernay to direct the film.
Currently, there’s no indication which film DuVernay is favoring — or if she is contemplating other offers from competing studios. But it is indicative of the impact Selma has had since its release that two major productions are interested in the director to helm what could prove to be big, genre-specific projects — with one of them having definite franchise potential if it scores with audiences. Still, the interest in DuVernay is also notable for the fact that her unique perspective and directorial vision could help make one of these two science-fiction films more distinct, as the genre has typically been dominated by male directors in the past.
UPDATE: THR is now reporting that Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is in talks to star in Intelligent Life. Furthermore, as there is not a scheduling conflict between Intelligent Life and A Wrinkle in Time as far as the planned production timelines go, it remains plausible that DuVernay could wind up directing both films.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on A Wrinkle in Time and Intelligent Life as it becomes available.