Well here’s some interesting news. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is losing one of its key voices in Joss Whedon, it appears that the higher ups at Marvel Studios are nevertheless keen on nabbing a high profile director for one of its Phase Three films. The Wrap reports that filmmaker Ava DuVernay, fresh off her incredible Oscar-nominated Martin Luther King Jr. drama Selma, is being courted by Marvel to direct one of the studio’s “diverse” superhero movies, which means Black Panther or Captain Marvel.
Apparently Marvel Studios had had discussions with DuVernay about taking the helm of one of its upcoming projects and there’s mutual interest in joining the MCU, with insiders suggesting that the most likely candidate is Black Panther, which already has Chadwick Boseman set to star as the African superhero.
Marvel is reportedly intent on hiring an African-American director for Black Panther and a female filmmaker for Captain Marvel, with Angelina Jolie having also been in the mix for the latter. DuVernay did excellent work in the indie world before helming Selma on films like Middle of Nowhere and I Will Follow, and with the Best Picture nominee she announced herself as one of the most bold and exciting filmmakers working today.
On the one hand, it’s great that Marvel is finally making it a priority to get some diversity behind the camera (how about getting some female character toys though, huh?), but on the other hand, I’d really love to see DuVernay keep telling important, difficult stories with films that don’t already have automatic financing. Regardless of whether DuVernay directs, Black Panther and Captain Marvel are going to get made, and they’re going to be Marvel Studios movies (ie. not especially filmmaker-driven), and they’re going to make lots of money. But DuVernay’s clout could go a long way to getting another film like Selma off the ground.
That said, if directing a Marvel movie is something that DuVernay is passionate about, more power to her. No doubt she could bring a unique and strong voice to the MCU, and it’s not like DuVernay needs to direct a Marvel movie, so whatever happens the ball is in her court. She most recently wrapped the CBS civil rights drama pilot For Justice and is developing a TV series for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network called Queen Sugar.
Marvel just hired Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Meg LeFauve (Inside Out) to pen the script for Captain Marvel, which is due on November 2, 2018. Black Panther, meanwhile, is set for release in July 2018, with Boseman’s titular character first being introduced in next May’s Captain America: Civil War.