Well, this is a sad turn of events. We’d been keeping you up to date for the past couple of months about reports that Selma director Ava DuVernay was in talks, or even final talks, to direct Marvel‘s upcoming Black Panther movie, due out in 2018. Back in May the talk was that Marvel had approached her, and toward the end of June, it was looking like they’d offered her the position.
Now, we have an official confirmation from DuVernay herself: she has turned down the job.
In an interview with Essence on Friday, the director explained that she was offered the position but ultimately had to decline, sighting a difference of opinion on story and character.
“I think I’ll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be,” she told the magazine. “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.”
She’s not bearing any grudges, though, saying later, “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 … I love the character of Black Panther, the nation of Wakanda and all that that could be visually. I wish them well and will be first in line to see it.”
This is obviously not the first time a director has been offered a Marvel movie and then pulled out. Patty Jenkins was in line to direct Thor: The Dark World before Alan Taylor ultimately got the job; more famously, Ant-Man had been the passion project of Edgar Wright since the MCU’s beginning, but he backed out and for a short time (a matter of minutes, really) Adam McKay had the job before he too bowed, giving way to Peyton Reed.
We have no reason to think there was anything more at play here than simply what DuVernay said, but it definitely would have been excellent to see Marvel’s first solo movie about a hero of color being directed by a woman of color.
Who do you think should direct Black Panther now that Ava DuVernay’s out? Let us know below!