Back in May, a report surfaced that Marvel was eyeing Selma filmmaker Ava DuVernay to direct their upcoming Phase Three adventure Black Panther. There was an unconfirmed report earlier this month that she had actually signed on to direct the superhero movie. But the filmmaker revealed just a few days later that she actually passed on the project. Over the weekend, the director spoke at the 2015 BlogHer conference in New York, where she offered new details about why she passed. She also shared her thoughts on the premature reports that she had actually signed on, even though she didn't.
"It was really an enlightened day in terms of the quality of journalism. For me, it was a process of trying to figure out, are these people I want to go to bed with? Because it's really a marriage, and for this, it would be three years. It'd be three years of not doing other things that are important to me. So it was a question of, is this important enough for me to do?"
Earlier this month, the filmmaker stated that she "didn't see eye to eye" with the studio about the story for this superhero movie, but added that she will be the first in line to see it, wishing the studio well on the project. As it turns out, even though she passed on Black Panther, Ava DuVernay revealed that, "at one point, the answer was yes." Here's what she had to say about what appealed to her about making a Black Panther movie.
"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 compared her brief experience of directing an episode of Shonda Rhimes' Scandal to working with Marvel, meaning that she was there to support the creator's vision. The director added that there was "too much compromise" for Black Panther to truly be an Ava DuVernay movie. Ava DuVernay and the studio parted ways amicably, with the director stating that she is looking forward to seeing the movie when it hits theaters in three years.
"What my name is on means something to me - these are my children. 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. I think it should be good when it comes out. I'll be there, watching."
The studio still hasn't found a director or a screenwriter for Black Panther yet, but fans will get a first glimpse of Chadwick Boseman as the title character in next year's Captain America: Civil War, which is currently filming in Atlanta. No details have been given for Black Panther's stand alone movie, but a report from last month revealed that T'challa is starting to come into his own, since his father T'chaka is getting old, teasing that T'challa will likely take over as the ruler of his homeland, Wakanda. Would you have liked to see Ava DuVernay direct Black Panther?