The Marvel Cinematic Universe may be considering Selma director Ava Duvernay to direct one of its upcoming movies.
According to insiders, Marvel would like Duvernay to lead one of its diverse superhero movies, which include Black Panther and Captain Marvel. While the studio has considered other directors, insiders say the interest in bringing Duvernay into the universe is mutual.
Should Duvernay be hired, she would be Marvel’s first female and first African-American director, a much-needed boon for the company as it has been criticized for its lack of diversity. Marvel’s first female director would have been Patty Jenkins for the Thor sequel, but she split with the studio over creative differences.
As both Marvel and DC race to beat each other to diversifying their films (with DC to release Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg in its upcoming movie slate against Marvel’s Black Panther and Captain Marvel), Marvel announced its intentions to make sure that Captain Marvel was directed by a woman and that Black Panther had an African-American director.
Black Panther will follow the story of an African prince T’Challa from the fictional nation of Wakanda as works to avenger his father’s death and deal with the responsibilities of his newly inherited throne. Actor Chadwick Boseman has already been casted in the lead role. Captain Marvel will follow the fictional Carol Danvers as she deals with newfound powers following an encounter with aliens called the Kree (seen in Guardians of the Galaxy) and will be written by two women: Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Meg LeFauve (Inside Out) . Both of these projects would help to bolster the franchise’s frankly lackluster diversity.
The announcement comes at a time when Hollywood in general and Marvel specifically are under fire for lack of diversity, with the ACLU requesting an investigation into gender discrimination by bigger studios in hiring directors and with Marvel specifically receiving backlash for its lack of gender diversity in movies and merchandise as well as for the portrayal of its current female characters, especially Black Widow, the only female Avenger.