Speculation about Marvel’s pick to direct Black Panther intensifies

Have Marvel and 'Selma' director Ava DuVernay come to an agreement?


Aja Romano

Internet Culture

Published Jun 22, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 12:40 pm CDT

Barely had the glitter settled from Ava DuVernay‘s acclaimed awards season run as director of Selma when rumors surfaced that Marvel was interested in tapping her to direct its upcoming film adaptation of Black Panther. 

Now, after months of indications that DuVernay was in talks with Marvel, MCU Exchange is reporting that her involvement with the film is official, citing information from an unnamed source. Marvel did not respond to the Daily Dot’s email request for confirmation.

Though MCU Exchange is reporting the news as an exclusive, Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican has stated that the contact is still not final:

As MCU Exchange notes, Marvel may need to pick a director for Black Panther soon because the currently filming Captain America: Civil War will lay the groundwork for that film, even though it’s not out until November 2017.

Civil War will apparently feature locations in the fictional East African nation of Wakanda, home to the Marvel character T’Challa (AKA Black Panther). By choosing a director early, Marvel can have her on set to oversee the representation of the elements she will use later in a standalone Black Panther film.

If Marvel and DuVernay do come to an agreement, the genre film will be a departure for her. Until now, she has helmed socially conscious dramas like Selma and Middle of Nowhere; but there’s plenty of room for serious elements in this superhero tale. A brilliant physicist, T’Challa has to fight for his rightful title as leader of his people when he returns to home after years spent abroad. A director concerned with community and individual identity like DuVernay should be able to enrich T’Challa’s story and make it even more relevant to today’s expanding Marvel audiences.

So what other amazing female directors on board this train? Dee Rees? Karyn Kusama? Jennifer Lee? Keep ’em coming, Marvel. 

Screengrab via EmergencyAwesome/YouTube

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*First Published: Jun 22, 2015, 5:25 pm CDT