What Is Next for Lupita Nyong'o?

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An air marshal springs into action during a transatlantic flight after receiving a series text messages that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account.
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
March 25th, 2014

After winning the 2014 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in the critically acclaimed film "12 Years a Slave," Lupita Nyong'o has gone from being a relatively unknown actor to one of the biggest new discoveries in Hollywood. Her style, grace and beauty, in addition to her acting work, have propelled her into the center of the spotlight.

Fans who want to see more of Lupita Nyong'o's work can first watch "Non-Stop," a February 2014 action thriller featuring Liam Neeson as an air marshal who must stop a killer who has hijacked a nonstop international flight. Filmed before Nyong'o became a star but released after the wildly successful "12 Years a Slave," "Non-Stop" features Nyong'o in a small role as a flight attendant, playing alongside Michelle Dockery of "Downton Abbey."

Fans can also seek out the documentary "The Hazda: The Last of the First," directed by Bill Benenson. This film tells the story of the Hazda tribe, a group of people living in Africa's Rift Valley who still live their lives much as their prehistoric ancestors did over 50,000 years ago. Nyong'o worked on "The Hazda: The Last of the First" as a Swahili consultant and translator. Although this documentary was screened in Washington, D.C, on March 24, 2014, it is not yet available for general release. It is likely to release to larger audiences at some point this year, although the exact release date is unknown.

Lupita Nyong'o is not scheduled to appear in any other feature films releasing in 2014. However, fans are likely to hear big news about Nyong'o in the near future. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney and Lucasfilm are in talks with Nyong'o about acting in "Star Wars: Episode VII." Nyong'o has met with director J.J. Abrams to discuss the film, although there is not currently any word on which character Nyong'o may be asked to play.

If Nyong'o is tapped for "Star Wars," the announcement is to be made very soon. Principal filming for the latest installment in the famous film series is scheduled to begin in May 2014, with the goal of a Dec. 18, 2015, release.

"Star Wars: Episode VII" takes place 30 years after the events of "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi," and the film is reportedly introducing three new heroes into the "Star Wars" universe. If Nyong'o lands a role, she is likely to play one of these three new heroes. If this rumor is correct, it also means that Nyong'o is almost guaranteed to perform in "Star Wars: Episode VIII" and "Star Wars: Episode IX," which complete George Lucas's original concept of the "Star Wars" films as three sets of trilogies.

Lupita Nyong'o is also being considered for a role in the courtroom thriller "The Whole Truth," starring Daniel Craig. According to ABC News, Nyong'o is also on the shortlist to star in the film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel "Americana," the story of a Nigerian student who attends college in America and becomes a writer.

Lupita Nyong'o is not set to take the role of Tiger Lily in the Warner Bros. upcoming film "Pan," a new adaptation of J.M. Barrie's book "Peter Pan." Although Nyong'o was considered for this role, it ultimately went to Rooney Mara.

In addition to turning heads in the acting world, Lupita Nyong'o is also making her mark in the world of fashion. The stunning blue Prada gown she wore to the 2014 Academy Awards is now a style icon and is influencing everything from prom dresses to wedding gowns. Nyong'o's Prada gown was designed by personal stylist Micaela Erlanger, and it combines elements of Nyong'o's Kenyan heritage with classic Hollywood style.

Expect to see Nyong'o's Academy Awards dress copied and mimicked by numerous manufacturers, and expect Nyong'o's clothing choices to continue to set fashion trends. Lupita Nyong'o is both a stunning actress and a stunningly beautiful woman, and the world is waiting to see how her unique sense of style transforms both Hollywood and fashion.

Although Lupita Nyong'o is unlikely to appear in any films releasing in 2014, save for her translation work on the documentary "The Hazda: The Last of the First," she is gearing up to start a long, successful Hollywood career. Her work on "12 Years a Slave" has cemented her importance as a Hollywood actor. If she lands the "Star Wars" role, she is to become one of the most visible stars in Hollywood. What is next for Lupita Nyong'o? Fans are likely to see her find success in film, fashion and the entertainment industry.