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Marvel Studios Head Honcho Talks Hiring Black Directors & Diversity (And Ava DuVernay Directing ‘Black Panther’)

Marvel Studios Head Honcho Talks Hiring Black Directors & Diversity (And Ava DuVernay Directing ‘Black Panther’)

In case you didn’t
hear the news this week, Ava DuVernay has officially signed on to direct Marvel’s
film version of the Black Panther. And if you’re wondering why we didn’t mention
that at all on this site, it’s because it’s not true.

The internet
was all abuzz for a few days after some website, that no one had
ever heard of before, proudly announced that it was done deal for Ms. DuVernay
to direct the film. The news was picked up everywhere with people expressing all
sorts of congratulations to her for getting the gig.

But it’s not
true folks, honest. Even Ms. DuVernay herself had to get on the internet to
straighten things out. Sorry to burst your bubble. However, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had talks with Marvel about it.

And that bit
of news comes straight from the head honcho himself, Kevin Feige, the president of
Marvel Studios. He was asked in a Hollywood Reporter interview yesterday (HERE)
if Ms DuVernay is under consideration to direct Panther, and Feige said: “We’ve
met with her for sure. We’ve met with a number of people for a number of
movies. She has been one of them.”

And when asked
if they intend to hire a black director
for Panther, and more women directors for upcoming future projects, Feige gave
the rather standard reply: “It’s an
issue across the industry, for sure. And the issue is, we need to find the best
director for any given movie. And that’s really where we always start. If
diversity is part of that, it’s great. It’s important. You will start to see
things across the industry as a whole change as more filmmakers come up through
the ranks and become part of making movies like this.”

And he further
added: “I think it will happen sooner rather than later, without giving too
much away. But you look back sometimes, and it’s just the nature of this
industry, or the nature of the culture. But there’s a big shift happening.
What’s exciting about Marvel, go back and look at the source material: It’s
been diverse in a cutting-edge way going back to the ’60s, and I think we’ve
represented that effortlessly and accurately in the movies we’ve made up to
this point, but certainly with Black Panther and Captain Marvel doing it in a
much more overt and purposeful way.”

Well that’s all
well and good you might say, except that Sony and Marvel, just yesterday, announced
that the director they’ve chosen for the upcoming second reboot of “Spider Man” will be Jon Watts.

Jon Who? Jon
Watts is the very young director of the low budget thriller “Cop Car,” with only 7 characters in the entire film, which got attention, though not all
out raves, at Sundance, this past January.

Furthermore, the film won’t be released theatrically until August, so it’ll
still be few months before the public at large will get a chance to even see
the film and judge it for themselves.

Yet Marvel
thought that this guy, who, before he directed “Cop Car,” directed segments for The
Onion news satire TV series, was the best person to direct their big $150 million
new Spider Man movie.

Which means
that despite what Feige says, it sure looks like business as usual.

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