After many months of rumors and speculation, Ava DuVernay has chosen to pass on directing one of Marvel’s most iconic characters.
Marvel seemed to be killing two birds with one stone when it came to their Black Panther film — hiring both a female director AND a person of color, which would be a first for the franchise on both accounts. Instead, Marvel finds themselves back at square one. In an interview with Essence, Selma director Ava DuVernay confirms that she has chosen to pass on Black Panther, to be released in 2018. Her reasoning? Same as many other directors who have been in talks with Marvel: a clash of ideas.
“I’m not signing on to direct Black Panther. 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.”
Reading further into the interview, it does seem like DuVernay and Marvel execs were close to coming to a deal. She talks about how she had met Chadwick Boseman, who will be playing the titular character, as well as the writers about the film. But it doesn’t seem like there’s any love lost between DuVernay and the company, stating that she’ll “be first in line to see the movie.”
While it’s obviously a shame we won’t be seeing what DuVernay could have brought to the table, Marvel hasn’t exactly missed on their director choices yet. Even when they’re unable to get their original choice, they’re always able to find someone who is capable of stepping in and doing a fine job behind the camera. Black Panther will still be one of the hottest films of 2018 that is a must see for Marvel fans and moviegoers as a whole.