We know that Marvel Studios has been planning on diversifying the lead superheroes of their comic book adaptations for some time now, with solo big screen adventures for both Captain Marvel and Black Panther set for 2018. The studio is also looking to diversify the talent behind those films, with The Wrap reporting that Ava DuVernay, the director of last year’s Academy Award-nominated Selma, is being sought after by Marvel “to direct one of its diverse superhero movies.”
The Wrap further states that multiple sources are suggesting that the film in question could be Black Panther and that while the studio is also talking to other potential directors, the interest in her getting behind the camera for a Marvel movie is mutual. It is interesting, and a more than a bit encouraging, that the director of one of the more acclaimed films of last year who should be fielding a number of offers and projects would want to pursue a big superhero blockbuster as her follow up to a Civil Rights drama. Though I could see how the clout of having directed a Marvel film could translate into greasing the wheels to get financing for smaller, more serious fare that she may want to do.
Chadwick Boseman has already been signed to play Black Panther’s titular African prince/superhero, who will make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in next year’s Captain America: Civil War.
Additionally, The Wrap is reporting that insiders are telling them that the studio is definitely looking to hire an African-American director for Black Panther and a woman director for Captain Marvel. Landing DuVernay for either position would certainly be a seen as a win for the studio, not only for the talent she would bring to the job but also as some nice PR for the studio in a week where the ACLU has publically asked for investigations into the hiring practices at Hollywood studios which they claim are discriminatory towards women and minorities.
Marvel had previously hired Patty Jenkins to direct Thor: The Dark World, though she left the project before production began over creative differences. Jenkins has gone on to be tapped to direct Warner Brothers Wonder Woman, replacing Michelle MacLaren. If it were a race, Warners looks like it will win as Wonder Woman has a release date scheduled 13 months before Marvel will have Black Panther on the big screen.