Lupita Nyong’o to produce and star in sci-fi comedy

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Lupita Nyong’o appears on “Sunday Today with Willie Geist” on March 18, 2019. Photo by Mike Smith/NBC

Universal Pictures has won an auction for a sci-fi comedy that is a star vehicle for Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, who will re-team with the principals behind “Little Monsters,” the 2019 Sundance film that sold to NEON and Hulu.

Abe Forsythe is writing the script and directing, Deadline Hollywood reports, while Nyong’o will produce with Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea, Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky. Emil Stern, Sigmund Stern and Jeanne Snow will be executive producers.

The project was pitched as “Miss Universe,” but it won’t be released under that title, according to Deadline, and sources describe it as “Men In Black” meets “Miss Congeniality.”

Already an Academy Award winner for her breakout turn in director Steve McQueen’s “12 Years A Slave,” Nyong’o has boosted her star power recently with powerhouse performances in Jordan Peele’s “Us” for Universal, and Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” for Marvel. She has numerous projects in progress, including the remake of “The Killer,” from John Woo, and “355,” the international spy thriller from Universal and FilmNation that Simon Kinberg is directing, with Nyong’o starring alongside Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, and Bingbing Fan.

Forsythe is the Australian filmmaker who also wrote and directed “Down Under.”

On the “Made Up Stories” front, the producer just got a straight-to-series order for 2020 from Hulu on “Nine Perfect Strangers,” based on “Big Little Lies” author Liane Moriarty’s latest book, with Papandrea reteaming with Nicole Kidman, Endeavor Content and writer-producer David E. Kelley.

Universal senior executive vice president of production Erik Baiers and director of development Lexi Barta will oversee for the studio.


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