Selma director, Ava DuVernay has passed up on Marvel’s offer to direct their upcoming standalone, Black Panther.
Reports surfaced in May that DuVernay had been approached by Marvel to possibly direct either Black Panther (the origin story of heroic African prince, T’Challa) or Captain Marvel – the studio’s first female-led superhero flick. The deal would’ve been prolific in the fact that DuVernay might have been the first female and first person of colour to direct a film for the comic-book studio.
However, DuVernay has now come out and said that she will definitely not be collaborating with the studio on any of their forthcoming projects. Speaking with Essence, the filmmaker revealed that she had decided to pass on directing Black Panther over a difference of vision with Marvel. “I’m not signing on to direct Black Panther,” she said.
“I think I’ll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be. Marvel has a certain way of doing things and I think they’re fantastic and a lot of people love what they do. I loved that they reached out to me and I loved meeting Chadwick [Boseman] and writers and all the Marvel execs. In the end, it comes down to story and perspective. And we just didn’t see eye to eye. Better for me to realize that now than cite creative differences later.”
Marvel is notoriously protective of its output, opting to maintain a certain degree of creative control over each film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in order to keep the franchise cohesive. This level of studio interference has caused tension between several of the company’s hired directors – with auteurs like Joss Whedon (Avengers), Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) and Edgar Wright (Ant Man), clashing with execs over ‘creative differences.’
DuVernay meanwhile, is taking no time to dwell on this recent deal-breaker, as she continues work on a movie depicting the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which is set to star her Selma lead, David Oyelowo. She also recently directed the failed CBS pilot, For Justice.
Marvel is now on the hunt for a new director for Black Panther, which is currently set to be released in July 2018. Watch the trailer for the studio’s latest contribution to the MCU – Ant Man –below.