Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o are set to star in a heist movie together based off of a Twitter meme that went viral earlier this year. The project was pitched at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with Netflix winning the rights to turn the internet idea into reality.
The project all started when a picture of the award-winning stars sitting side-by-side at Miu Miu’s fashion show in 2014 resurfaced online. The image quickly caused a social media frenzy on Tumblr and fans took to Twitter to dream up storylines for the fictional film.
One Twitter user in particular by the name of 1800SADGAL tweeted an interesting plot idea that garnered a lot of attention. “Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and Lupita is the computer smart best friend that helps plan the scans,” wrote the user.
The popular tweet inspired a flood of creative story ideas for the hypothetical film, with many fans sharing their top picks for director and writer. Twitter users even went as far as to ask Ava DuVernay to direct the flick and pegged the star and writer of the HBO comedy Insecure Issa Rae to pen the script.
The journey from online meme to blockbuster movie quickly picked up steam when the Queen of Katwe star retweeted the idea to the “Work” singer in April. “I’m down if you are,” the actress wrote to the Barbados native, to which she replied “I’m in Pit’z.”
— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) April 21, 2017
I'm in Pit'z https://t.co/Kz0o3lBEmL
— Rihanna (@rihanna) April 23, 2017
Three days later, Ava, who directed the Oscar-winning film Selma, showed her support for the project by tweeting that she’s “ready to call actions for these #queens,” while Issa posted a GIF of a cat furiously typing on a laptop.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 24, 2017