Just a week after her big-budget Disney adventure A Wrinkle in Time hit theaters, Ava DuVernay has a new gig, bringing the director into the superhero world. The filmmaker is closing a deal with Warner Bros. and DC to direct a big-budget adaptation of Jack Kirby's The New Gods, although this report also claims that The New Gods will have "no connection to the other DC worlds being exploited for film," including the DCEU. The studio is currently searching for a screenwriter to concoct the story, while working closely with the director.
Ava DuVernay already made history on A Wrinkle in Time, becoming the first female African-American director to make a film budgeted at more than $100 million, following Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins as the first female director to do so. This project comes in the wake of Warner Bros. bringing in Walter Hamada as the new DC production president, with the studio and DC Entertainment said to be taking a different approach to their superhero fare. It makes sense for The New Gods not to be connected to the DCEU, since Jack Kirby designed part of this Fourth World saga that included numerous DC titles.
The New Gods was created in February 1971, the first of Kirby's creations for DC after leaving Marvel in 1970 after he thought he was being treated unfairly. The New Gods were natives of the twin planets New Genesis, an idyllic and peaceful planet ruled by the Highfather, and Apokolips, a nightmarish hellscape ruled by the nefarious Darkseid. Both planets were once one and the same, but they were split by the Old Gods after the apocalyptic event known as Ragnarok.
Other titles launched as part of the Fourth World include Forever People and Mister Miracle, and while the Fourth World as a whole wasn't exactly successful, The New Gods continued to play a pivotal part in the DC Comics universe. What's also interesting is, during a Twitter Q&A back in December, Ava DuVernay was asked who her favorite superhero was by a fan, with the director responding that Big Barda was her favorite, "for many reasons." Big Barda is one of The New Gods, and the wife of Mister Miracle, who was also created by Jack Kirby.
While this will be her first official foray into the superhero world, director Ava DuVernay was once in contention to direct Marvel's Black Panther, before the directing gig went to Ryan Coogler. The former publicist made her feature directing debut in 2008 with the documentary This Is Life, which she followed with indie dramas I Will Follow and Middle of Nowhere before her breakthrough film Selma in 2014, which was nominated for Best Picture. She also created the OWN series Queen Sugar and wrote and directed the hit Netflix documentary The 13th, before tackling A Wrinkle In Time for Disney. Deadline broke the news on Ava DuVernay directing The New Gods, and you can take a look at the director's tweet from December below, where she lists Big Barda as her favorite superhero.