Earlier this month it was announced that Ava DuVernay was being sought after to direct Amblin Entertainment’s Intelligent Life, a sci-fi thriller starring Lupita Nyong’o revolving around a United Nation employee that monitors outer space who makes contact with a beautiful woman, who may be an alien (Nyong’o). It has been confirmed that DuVernay has dropped out of the running for the project due to scheduling conflicts.

[bctt tweet=”When you’re in your lane, there is no traffic. – Ava DuVernay” username=”HBR_Media”]

DuVernay is one of the most sought after directors in Hollywood, and is currently set to direct the film adaptation of The Battle of Versailles for HBO Films. The Battle of Versailles is based on the book by Robin Givhan about the story of the 1973 fashion show that took place at the Palace of Versailles, pitting the top 5 French designers against 5 unknown Americans in front of an audience of the world’s social elite. By the end of the night, American fashion would be born, racial barriers broken, and the industry would be left forever transformed. DuVernay is no stranger to the fashion world as she shot a stunning fashion short film for Miu Miu titled The Door in 2013

In addition to The Battle of Versailles, it was announced earlier this year that DuVernay will be directing an adaptation of the Madeleine L’Engle book A Wrinkle in Time for Disney that revolves around a young girl whose government-scientist father disappears while working on a mysterious project. She will be directing alongside co-director and writer Jennifer Lee (Frozen) who will help to develop the script.

Currently, DuVerney is in production on the 13-episode OWN original drama, Queen Sugar, where she has hired an all-female directorial team including Neema Barnette, Tina Mabry, Victoria Mahoney, Sallie Richardson, So Young Kim, Kat Candler, Tanya Hamilton and more. Queen Sugar is an adaptation of Natalie Baszile’s novel of the same name and follows the story of a mother and daughter who inherit a sugarcane farm in Louisiana as they navigate the triumphs and struggles of their complicated lives to run this ailing sugarcane farm in the Deep South.

“Ignore the glass ceiling and do your work. If you’re focusing on the glass ceiling, focusing on what you don’t have, focusing on the limitations, then you will be limited. My way was to work, make my short…make my documentary…make my small films…use my own money…raise money myself…and stay shooting and focused on each project.” – Ava DuVernay

We would have loved to see a DuVernay/ Nyong’o partnership; however, we are beyond excited to see everything that DuVernay is currently working on come to life.  She has proven herself to be one of the hardest working people in Hollywood, and is the only black female filmmaker in a position to helm blockbuster films of this nature.  DuVernay is undoubtedly paving the way for future generations of filmmakers.



About The Author

Founder, HBR Media

K. Nicole Mills is the Founder of HBR Media. She transitioned from Wall Street to television and film development, and has worked at NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Showtime Networks. She currently develops digital programming for premium networks. Reach out anytime! info@hbrmedia.org

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