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‘Silver & Black’: Gina Prince-Bythewood Becomes First African-American Woman to Direct Studio-Made Superhero Feature

The "Love & Basketball" helmer is breaking down a big barrier to direct her next feature.

Lauren/Deadline/REX/Shutterstock

As Warner Bros. and their DC Extended Universe prepare to bow their first female filmmaker-helmed superhero feature with next week’s “Wonder Woman,” Sony Pictures appears to be getting similarly hip to the possibilities of picking genuinely diverse and compelling directors to helm their franchise properties.

Deadline reports that Sony is setting filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood to direct their “Silver & Black” — based on the Marvel characters Silver Sable and Black Cat — making her the first African-American woman to direct a studio-produced superhero film. Prince-Bythewood doesn’t just have the chops, thanks to her consistently stellar feature work on films like “Beyond the Lights,” “Love & Basketball,” and “The Secret Life of Bees” (all of which she wrote and directed), but she’s also got some hard-won superhero experience, having just directed the pilot for Marvel’s “Cloak & Dagger” Freeform series.

READ MORE: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Trailer: Tom Holland Fights Michael Keaton in Upcoming Marvel Film

Prince-Bythewood will also rewrite the film’s current script, initially penned by “Thor: The Dark World” screenwriter Christopher Yost.

The film will follow mercenary Silver Sable and real-life cat burglar Black Cat on their adventures, and is expected to follow the recently announced “Venom,” another Spider-Man spinoff set to star Tom Hardy as the baddie, with Ruben Fleischer directing. The newest Spider-Man film, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” hits theaters on July 7 and will restart the franchise after two earlier franchises focused on the web-spinning superhero, this time aided by a further integration into the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Most recently, Prince-Bythewood completed the first season of TV drama “Shots Fired,” which she created with husband Reggie Rock Bythewood. The series’ first season finale aired Wednesday on Fox.

Few female filmmakers have ever made the jump to the superhero world, and while Jenkins is the first to make a film in the ever-expanding hard-and-fast franchise world, Lexi Alexander previously directed “Punisher: War Zone” for Lionsgate. Elsewhere, Marvel recently hired its female director in Anna Boden, who will co-direct “Captain Marvel” alongside Ryan Fleck.

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