Amblin’s sci-fi film Intelligent Life has landed a new director. THR reports that Rebecca Thomas (Stranger Things) will direct the upcoming sci-fi film, which “centers on a United Nations employee who monitors outer space and makes contact with a beautiful woman who may be an alien.” Jurassic World duo Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connelly wrote the original script, but Thomas will do some additional writing on the screenplay (thank goodness).
Ava DuVernay (Selma) was previously attached to direct back in February 2016 with Luptia Nyong’o on board to star, but they both left the project with DuVernay going off to helm A Wrinkle in Time and now moving on to a limited series about the Central Park Five. Nyongo’o has also left, but presumably the material will woo other talented actors to come on board. After DuVernay left, the studio brought on Jay Roach to do some rewrites.
Thomas’ star has been rising fast these past few years. She made her feature debut with the indie Electrick Children and has since signed onto a live-action The Little Mermaid for Universal and adapting the John Green book Looking for Alaska. “Rebecca beautifully captured the alienation we often feel amongst our fellow humans in her first feature. We can’t wait to see her explore those themes further in a story about our place in the universe,” said a statement from Trevorrow and producer Frank Marshall.
There’s no word yet on when Intelligent Life might go in front of cameras. Presumably, the studio will keep the project in development until they’re happy with the script, and it’s possible that Thomas could move forward with The Little Mermaid or Looking for Alaska first. Thomas’ episode of Stranger Things, “The Secret Cabin”, will debut with Season 2, which premieres on Netflix on October 27th.