‘Black Panther’ Will Not Be Directed by Ava DuVernay, Director Confirms
Well this is kind of a bummer. It’s been reported for some time that Marvel was considering Selma director Ava DuVernay to helm their Black Panther film (other reports suggested they were also considering her for Captain Marvel). DuVernay herself recently added to the speculation with a tweet referencing the superhero, while Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that he had met with the director and would have an announcement by the end of July.
Well, we can stop holding our breath because DuVernay will not direct Black Panther after all.
DuVernay made it official in a new interview with Essence, and her answer basically boils down to “creative differences”:
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.
That makes sense. DuVernay is a very strong director, and there are some who work more easily within the studio system, and some who do not. Marvel Studios has a sort of in-house collaborative system, with their own writers and ideas about what each film should be. Edgar Wright parted ways with Marvel over creative differences on Ant-Man, and like DuVernay, Wright is also a very strong, visionary director. So again, this all makes perfect sense.
DuVernay says that there are no hard feelings between her and Marvel, and she had a pretty great experience during the time she was under consideration:
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.
She’s right: it’s better for them to realize they’re not a great fit now instead of later, like Michelle MacLaren on Wonder Woman. It seems like Marvel is very close to securing a director for the project, and while it sadly won’t be Ava DuVernay, I look forward to whatever she decides to direct next.