Several weeks ago, word got out that Selma director, Ava DuVernay had signed on to direct Marvel’s Black Panther movie. While I had no doubt this could be true (she was practically the front-runner for the job), my main concern was that none of the big media outlets were reporting it yet, so I refrained from posting on this blog either. A few days later, it was confirmed that nobody had been signed on to direct the movie yet.
Not too long ago, DuVernay finally announced that she had turned down the offer. This came as a bit of a surprise and disappointment to many (myself included), who felt she would have been the right fit to tell T’Challa’s story.
During her closing note at the 2015 BlogHer conference, held at the Hilton in New York City, the director spoke on her meetings with Marvel head, Kevin Fiege, and her eventual decision to not direct the movie. According to her, it was a matter of whether the film’s cultural impact was worth “going to bed” with Marvel for the next three years.
“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.
“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.”
She further stated that her body of works is her legacy, and if a film won’t allow her be true to herself, then it wasn’t really going to be an Ava DuVernay film.
“What my name is on means something to me — these are my children (her body of 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,” she said.
She however said she thinks the film will be good when it comes out and that she’ll definitely be seeing it.
Black Panther is a fictional Marvel superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and is the first black superhero in mainstream American comic books. Chadwick Boseman will be playing the character in the Marvel movie set for release on July 6, 2018.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter