Home / MOVIES / LET’S CELEBRATE!: The Rihanna x Lupita Nyong’o Movie Is A Major Victory

LET’S CELEBRATE!: The Rihanna x Lupita Nyong’o Movie Is A Major Victory

If you’ve ever brushed off your tweets or posts and felt like they don’t matter, this week has proven you wrong.

It was announced on Monday, May 22nd by EW that Netflix will be producing the Rihanna/Lupita Nyong’o  buddy heist film. And as if that news wasn’t already more than the collective conscience could handle, we’re also set to have Ava Duvernay (Selma, 13th) to direct and Issa Rae (Insecure) to write the screenplay.

But, even better than seeing beautiful collage of Black Female Excellence is that this project was brought into fruition by YOU! Ever since this 2-year-old Tumblr post made circulation(by user Elizabitchtaylor), the fires were immediately stoked:

Rihanna x Lupita Nyong'o Movie

Elizabitchtaylor: “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
#rihanna #lupita nyong’o”

After that post was a hit, the ball was picked up by @1800SADGAL and introduced to Black Twitter:

And ever since, this concept has been on fire and even inspired fan art:

And then all of a sudden, everything became official:

So, when the announcement for this film finally dropped after thousands of tweets have requested it, the social media space has been LIT! For some, the announcement of this movie gives a bit of hope:

Even Celebrity Twitter has been jumping in on the celebration:

But, most importantly, there’s the part of the narrative that’s so important that we need to discuss it: the movement. This was a concept taken from a passing comment of a picture and turned into a film. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a major movie gain traction from a lively fan community(Deadpool, Veronica Mars, etc.), but this is the first time we’ve seen it done from a quite often disenfranchised one. There will be many reports and narratives as to how this film picked up steam. But, remember who carried attention for this through to the finish line:

There are even those out there sending out ideas for sequels:

….and you know what?: He’s not wrong. We’ve seen Black Twitter suddenly become a business model for a project that many thought would never happen. While stats and demographics will be held up by analysts to say we need another reboot or superhero movie to make the “safe bet” in terms of profit, we now have the ability to make enough of an uproar to change the entire pitch and analytic process in the entertainment industry. Twitter has trackable data and stats to prove how large your audience and overall demographic can be.

This is our superhero story, but not just in terms of who is both in-front and behind the camera. But, the story of those who constantly showed passion towards being represented in a way that we all find is too rare. How empowering that is in a time when we’re facing white-washing and dismissal across the board from studios is huge.

While I’m pretty excited about this, I also wanted to tap into a couple ladies in our FanBros family who are excited about this turn of events. Our very own crew members on the spaceship: Geeky Curvy Girl and Katrina M.

Mellow: Ladies, what do you feel you need to see from this project?

GCG: I would love to see the love and support of two women who are building each other up and not falling into the tired trope of tearing each other apart. There also doesn’t need to be a love triangle!

KM: I would love to see the script integrate comedy into the film. It’s quite a site to see Black women genuinely enjoying each other’s company, cracking jokes on one another in gut busting laughter. We don’t see many images like this in the media of Black women. The latest and most prevalent example I can think of is Molly and Issa on “Insecure.” I think both Riri and Lupita could really pull this off on screen. 

GCG: The two of them kicking butt and taking names with no hesitation. I’m down to see them stopping a heist or taking down the power tripping bouncer at the club. Plus side eye. Side eye for days.

KM: I think it’s great that Ava and Issa are both down to create this film but I would like to see them grant opportunities to up and coming women of color in film production. Hire women of color to be the PAs, gaffers, etc. I think that is one thing that has been lost within the community, the idea of passing it on and paying it forward. I know both of them have been instrumental in working with young talent in their prospective projects. I hope that they would continue to grant opportunities to those who wouldn’t necessarily have them otherwise. 

Mellow: And I personally want to see them visit exotic locations. While I agree, having this be in NYC feels very natural, there’s always been a huge desire to see an intelligent, successful black person on a covert mission that requires style and class demanding respect in a room of a foreign land. I remember seeing Harlem Nights when I was a kid and that entire set-up had my jaw on the floor because I had never seen African-Americans portrayed in that way. It elevated past the comedy. It’s the same reason why I do want a Black James Bond film or for this to branch into a franchise. But really, who am I to ask for anything right now?! I feel like Aziz Ansari even requesting this:

With that said, take a moment to celebrate. Our victories are hard fought and deserve every moment we get to take them in. Thanks to everyone who made this possible and here’s to proving your worth as well as mine.

What do you want to see in the #RihPita heist movie? Let us know in the comments or on @FanBrosShow




  • Consuella Green

  • This made my heart smile. What a time to be alive.

  • Jo

    Great article Mellow! Thanks for asking me to be apart of this conversation!