Ava DuVernay has passed on directing Marvel Studios’ Black Panther.
The director of the Academy Award nominated Selma was reportedly in talks with Marvel to possibly direct either their Black Panther or Captain Marvel. In a statement to Essence over the weekend, DuVernay simultaneously confirmed that the project she had been in discussion was Black Panther and that she would not be taking it on.
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.
The character of Black Panther will be making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in spring’s Captain America: Civil War before appearing in his solo film due July 6, 2018. Chadwick Boseman will be playing T’Challa, a prince of the closed-boarder African nation of Wakanda, the world’s only source of vibranium, the indestructible metal that Captain America’s shield is made from.
DuVernay was very cordial about the opportunity but was pragmatic with her passing.
I loved meeting Chadwick 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.
All in all, nothing too unusual. Studios meet with directors they are interested in only to find out that they might not be on the same page as to their vision for a film. Thanks to the critical praise and Oscar-nominations for Selma, DuVernay is probably taking a number of these types of meetings. I dare say that she won’t be wanting for work anytime soon.