Ava DuVernay Will Not Be Directing ‘Black Panther’ for Marvel
I wasn’t very surprised to read this weekend that Ava DuVernay will not be directing a Marvel movie. Quite frankly, to me, it always seemed like wishful thinking.
While last week there were lots of rumors that DuVernay would helm "Black Panther," there was never any confirmation that it was a done deal. People were dreaming because there is such desperation to see these films be a bit different from the cookie cutter superhero films that are so similar no matter who the director is. They (we) hoped that DuVernay could revitalize what has become a stale genre.
While DuVernay met with Marvel, I think that’s it’s probably for the best that this is not to be. "I’ll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be. Marvel has a certain way of doing things and I think they’re fantastic and a lot of people love what they do," DuVernay told Essence
. Of course it would have been great to have a woman — and especially a woman of color — direct a superhero film.
But as recent directors of large-scale action flicks Alan Taylor ("Terminator Genysis") and Colin Treverrow ("Jurassic World") have lamented the difficulties of operating at this level, one could only imagine the intense scrutiny and the number of cooks in the kitchen there would be on "Black Panther." When you enter the superhero world you often have to leave a lot of your sense of self and vision behind for the brand. Remember, it’s all about the brand. Marvel has "a certain way of doing things" — and DuVernay has worked in a very different way over her career. She hasn’t followed someone else’s agenda.
Of course, there are pluses for directing a big-budget film: The biggest plus would be no one could ever again say that you couldn’t handle a big-budget film.
But I just can’t see DuVernay doing a movie that’s all about a brand when she has spent so much time being the "anti-brand" and honed her vision. The fact that she was able to walk away from what would have been a huge paycheck only makes me respect her even more.
And quite frankly hasn’t she already made a movie about a superhero? Martin Luther King Jr. may not have been able to fly, but he sure soared.