One month after DC hired Patty Jenkins to helm the Wonder Woman movie, rival comics emporium Marvel has revealed that it’s pursuing Ava DuVernay to direct one of their “diversity” pictures, “Black Panther” or the female-centric “Captain Marvel.”
To get it out of the way, it’s short-sighted on Marvel’s part that the director of a Best Picture nominee is only being considered for a “black” or “female” superhero movie because she’s an African American woman. DuVernay could just as well direct “Thor 3” or “Avengers 4” or the Spider-Man reboot — none of which would be “better” or “preferable” to “Black Panther” or “Captain Marvel,” of course. It may well be that DuVernay is most interested in directing “Black Panther” (her likeliest gig), since her directing work so far has been devoted to black protagonists. But looking beyond DuVernay’s possible participation, Marvel and DC need to get with the times and consider women directors for non-female-centric movies, too.
Since “Selma,” DuVernay has announced project after project: directing a Hurricane Katrina romance with David Oyelowo, developing the OWN series “Queen Sugar” with Oprah Winfrey and executive-producing the CBS civil rights drama “For Justice.” The Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t exactly fit in with the rest of these projects, but DuVernay is reportedly interested in joining Team Blockbuster. (Helming a superhero movie would certainly elevate her profile even further and allow her to play with tens of millions of dollars — a luxury rarely afforded to female filmmakers.)
Starring Chadwick Boseman, “Black Panther” is set to debut on July 2018. “Captain Marvel” is scheduled for release four months later and will be written by Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve.