Ava DuVernay was reportedly very close to becoming Marvel’s first female helmer on Black Panther, only for the Selma director to eventually pass on the project. DuVernay has since spoken about her decision during a keynote speech at the BlogHer conference, and has suggested that there would have been too much compromise involved for her to commit…
“At one point, the answer was yes,” says DuVernay, “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.”
“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.”
“This is my art,” she continues, explaining why she didn’t take the decision lightly. “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.”
So it’s back to the drawing board for Marvel, although Kevin Feige has suggested that the film will have found itself a director by the end of the summer. Starring Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther will open in the UK and US on 6 July 2018.