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Ava DuVernay Says She Turned Down ‘Black Panther’ Because There Might’ve Been Too Much Compromise

Ava DuVernay Says She Turned Down 'Black Panther' Because There Might've Been Too Much Compromise

The rumors circulated and built up considerable steam, but in the end, “Selma” director Ava DuVernay turned down the gig helming Marvel‘s “Black Panther.” “…We just didn’t see eye to eye. Better for me to realize that now than cite creative differences later,” she said earlier this month, and speaking over the weekend at the BlogHer conference in New York City, DuVernay elaborated a bit more on why she didn’t want to join the Marvel-verse.

Describing the possibility of working with Marvel as a “marriage,” she reveals she had to weigh the pros and cons of what doing a blockbuster tentpole might mean. “At one point, the answer was yes, because I thought there was value in putting that kind of imagery into the culture in a worldwide, huge way, in a certain way: excitement, action, fun, all those things, and yet still be focused on a black man as a hero — that would be pretty revolutionary,” she said. “These Marvel films go everywhere from Shanghai to Uganda, and nothing that I probably will make will reach that many people, so I found value in that. That’s how the conversations continued, because that’s what I was interested in. But everyone’s interested in different things.”

“What my name is on means something to me — these are my children,” she said continued about her work. “This is my art. This is what will live on after I’m gone. So it’s important to me that that be true to who I was in this moment. And if there’s too much compromise, it really wasn’t going to be an Ava DuVernay film.”

That is essentially the question any filmmaker has to ask themselves before jumping into the Marvel-verse — will you be able to retain your voice inside a massive franchise machine? For DuVernay, she believed she wouldn’t be able leave the the kind of imprint she would’ve liked. But for Kevin Feige, her statements must hurt a little considering how he’s recently stated that Marvel lets filmmakers put their stamp on company’s superhero material.

So, DuVernay has her reasons and has left “Black Panther” — but who should step in? Share your wishlist ideas in the comments section. Marvel has the movie dated for July 6, 2018. [via THR]

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